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Re: [XTalk] Thesis: Mark Used Cross Gospel in 15:42-16:8, Pt.1

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  • Ted Weeden
    ... Bob, I can appreciate how the claim Crossan makes, with which I concur, is to you quite incredible. According to the canonical Gospels and CG, if you
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 2, 2002
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      Bob Schacht wrote on Thursday, January 31, 2002:

      > Ted Weeden wrote, about half-way through his post:
      > >...I think Crossan does make it clear why CG and John depict
      > > Jesus dying on Nisan 14 and Mark, Matthew and Luke on
      > > Nisan 15.. Since the disciples did not know when Jesus was
      > > crucified (see my response below), Crossan suggests that,
      > > since no one knew exactly when Jesus was crucified, the next
      > > best option was to choose a date during the Passover that
      > > had symbolic theological meaning. ...
      >
      > Ted,
      > I find this claim quite incredible. By all accounts, Jesus was publicly
      > executed, and his body on the cross was visible for all to see for several
      > days. Even if the disciples were not personal witnesses, there must have
      > been hundreds who were witnesses.

      Bob, I can appreciate how the claim Crossan makes, with which I concur, is to
      you quite incredible. According to the canonical Gospels and CG, if you will,
      the crucifixion is a public event. But the historicity of those accounts, aside
      from the *historical fact* of the crucifixion, has been questioned by a good
      number of scholars. I cite, besides Crossan and myself, Helmut Koester
      when he states (_ Ancient Christian Gospels_, 224): "One can assume that
      the only historical information about Jesus; suffering, crucifixion, and death
      was that he was condemned to death by Pilate and crucified. And, I quote
      from Robert Funk and the Jesus Seminar, _ The Acts of Jesus_ (155): "In
      the collective judgment of the Fellows, the details of the [Markan] crucifixion
      scene were inspired largely by Psalm 22 and related prophetic texts. In spite
      of that firm conviction, none of the Fellows doubts that Jesus was crucified (v.
      24a). They are confident that he was crucified in Jerusalem, at a site outside
      the old city walls. Just about everything else in the story was inspired by
      some scripture." I was not a part of JS when deliberations were held concerning
      the crucifixion narratives. Mahlon Smith probably knows how that went

      And upon what basis do you argue that "there must have been hundreds who were
      witnesses?" The Gospels do suggest religious leaders (chief priests, etc.),
      soldiers (the centurion, in particular), the two crucified with Jesus, a
      gathering of hostile bystanders, and the women (see below on them). Lk.
      23:27-31 is Lukan fictive creativity. And the Johannine depiction of Jesus'
      mother and the beloved disciple at the cross is part of John's own agenda, but
      is not historical. All of these persons in the Gospels' respective
      crucifixion
      narratives play only the role of persona in the dramatization of Ps. 22 and
      other
      OT texts, which the early church drew upon to flesh out the details of the
      crucifixion for its own kerygmatic and faith needs, details which they had no
      awareness of except that Jesus was crucified. For the sake of the argument,
      let us assume that some of those serving as dramatis personae were in fact,
      historical figures who were present (some soldiers, perhaps some Jewish
      authorities and bystanders). They would not likely have much interest in
      preserving the memory of the date of the crucifixion and passing it on to the
      absent disciples, since these persons, with the exception of the centurion, are
      presented as hostile toward Jesus in the crucifixion narratives(see concerning
      the women below).

      The only non-hostile persons to Jesus present at the crucifixion, according to
      the Gospel narratives, are the women. In _Acts_ (264) the JS Fellows do think
      that this may be an accurate historical detail. They voted the presence of the
      women as pink, though there is a rejoinder: "On the other hand, Mark may have
      created the scene to account for how the women knew where the tomb was (15:47)
      as they could perform the burial rites (16:1). By voting this passage pink,
      the
      Fellows chose to err in the side of the women, whose role in these events was
      probably belittled and even repressed, as we learn from Mark 16:8."

      I see the role of the women quite differently. While the two Marys and Salome
      are likely historical figures, their role here is not historical but
      literary/theological. Suddenly and abruptly these women appear out of nowhere
      in the Markan crucifixion story (Mk. 15:40f.); yet we are told that they have
      been with Jesus (HKOLOUQOUN AUTWi) all along in Galilee and ministered to him
      (DIHKONOUN AUTWi (the same expression Mark uses to depict the support of the
      angels to Jesus during his temptation in the desert (1:13), and the only other
      time the expression is used by Mark in his Gospel). Up to this point of the
      Markan narrative, Mark has given us no clue to the fact that there were women
      who accompanied him and supported him. He has not prepared us for their
      entrance on stage (15:40). And note their appearance is only mentioned at the
      very end of the crucifixion narrative, and they are positioned in the
      background, "looking on from afar" at what has happened. Mark suggests that
      there were many women off in the wings watching the events on center stage. But
      his interest is primarily in three of the women, whom he names, two Marys and
      Salome. Then the two Marys, sans Salome, appear again at the burial. But
      again they are mentioned last, at the close of the burial scene (15:47), and
      they observe once again from the wings and not center stage. Finally, all
      three of these named women are caught by surprise in their visit to Jesus' tomb.
      For they find the tomb open, the body of Jesus gone and a young man inside who
      proclaims to them the Easter message (16:4-7).

      I submit that the women serve only one narrative role here. They serve as
      witnesses to the theological foundation of the kerygma as stated in I
      Cor.15:3-5, namely, "Christ died ... in accordance with the scriptures, that he
      was buried and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the
      scriptures." The women serve as the confirmatory witnesses of these three
      kerygmatic events in the narrative world of the Markan drama. They were never
      present in the real world of historical reality at an empty tomb (see my
      forthcoming post on my methodological presuppositions) or at the cross or the
      burial of Jesus. They serve as witnesses of the truth of the kerygmatic events
      much in the same way as the scripture vouches for the authenticity of the events
      in the creed Paul cites. So, while they likely were real historical figures,
      they
      are *not* in the Gospel accounts in a historical role of witnessing the actual
      events of death, burial and resurrection. They are only in this case literary
      figures vouching for the truth of those kerygmatic events in the context of the
      Markan drama. (John uses only Mary Magdalene in a dramatic role at the empty
      tomb. He is not interested in using the women as witnesses vouching for the
      three creedal events) That is their sole purpose for entering the narrative
      abruptly, and without Mark preparing us for their appearance, at the end of the
      crucifixion scene, once Jesus has died, and the centurion has made his
      confession--- which is the climax of the Gospel drama (15:39).

      > > As Crossan sees it, the oldest tradition of Jesus' trial, i.e. the major
      > > portion of the Cross Gospel, "began not with historical information";
      > > those closest to Jesus knew only that he was crucified "during the
      > > Passover time"; they did not know "the exact day" (!).

      > Reliable historical information on the trial is not available, but the date
      > of the crucifixion was public knowledge. The disciples surely must have
      > known the day when Jesus was crucified.

      Public knowledge to whom? Who but Jesus' closest followers? Where is there
      first-hand, authentic witness or memory of the crucifixion and when it happened
      to be found anywhere in the NT. Paul never mentions anything more than the
      "*dass*" of the crucifixion. Q and Thomas are silent. Only the canonical
      Gospel writers and author(s) of CG give the date and they disagree as I noted.

      > > And I agree with Crossan that, while the disciples were aware that
      > > Jesus was crucified during the Passover period they did not know when.

      > You do not offer any evidence here, only bald assertion. I still find this
      > claim quite incredible. Jesus closest followers-- and hundreds of others.

      Which hundreds? To whom are you referrring?. If mine is only a "bald
      assertion," what evidence is there that would render that assertion false? In
      a post soon I am going to share my methodological presuppositions with regard to
      the character of the canonical Gospels and, in particular, Mark and the
      relationship of the Gospel of Mark to CG. Let me state briefly here, I do not
      think that Mark, in particular, is an account devoted to narrating the facts
      about Jesus. Mark is not about history. It is a christological drama based
      upon some few core historical events. Mark is not interested in telling it
      "like it was." But Mark is interested in "what was" means to Mark. And Mark is
      quite comfortable creating events in his literary world that could never have
      been historical in the real world. Again, Mark is not about history. It is
      about drama in the service of a particular christological perspective, of a
      polemic against the Judean Temple- establishment, as well as the family of
      Jesus,
      and of the discrediting of the authority of the Twelve.

      >> The most plausible series of historical events, as I reconstruct
      >> what happened, is that Jesus conducted his anti-cultic
      >> demonstration at the Temple during the Passover festival. For
      >> him to have engaged in such a provocative act as that at
      >> Passover, with Pilate always hyper-sensitive at any suggestion
      >> of sedition--- to say nothing of the rage the Temple authorities
      >> must have had toward such an offense against the cultic system
      >> --- it is logical to assume that Jesus was arrested immediately
      >> by the Temple guard, turned over to the Romans and summarily
      >> executed, without trial or anything like it Pilate was not one
      >> who cared about due process (cf., also Crossan on the
      >> likelihood that all the disciples knew was that Jesus was
      > >"crucified through some collaboration of sacerdotal aristocracy
      >> and imperial > >power but knew almost nothing" else [_The
      >> Cross That Spoke_, 11).

      > That logic goes to whether or not there was a trial, but still there was
      > the crucifixion, which was, after all, a very public form of execution.

      Again, see my response above.

      > >I think, with Crossan, that the hearing by Judean religious authorities was
      > >likely invented by the CG, which basically exonerated the Romans of any
      > >culpability in the death of Jesus. Then, as Crossan conceives of it, Mark
      > >created a Roman trial (see Crossan, 113) to shame (honor-shame code!), I
      > >would
      > >add, going beyond Crossan, the religious authorities and the Judean populace
      > >into choosing Bar-abbas ("false" son of the father: name invented by Mark)
      > >over
      > >the true son of the father and forcing Pilate's hand to crucify Jesus.
      >
      > None of this is in dispute of the very public nature of the crucifixion.
      > You are usually much more careful than this in marshalling evidence. IMHO
      > the argument that the disciples did not know when Jesus was crucified is
      > extremely weak and lacking in credibility.

      Again, my response above and soon my post on my methdological presuppositions,
      particularly with respect to the empty-grave story and its literary and
      christological/theological connection to CG.

      > > Whether the Gospel of Peter is anti-Jewish or not is not the issue.
      >> What is the issue is whether or not CG is ant-Jewish. And I do NOT see
      >> CG as anti-Jewish! I do see it, going beyond Crossan, as
      >> ANTI-JUDEAN! And that is a significant difference. Judeans is the
      >> meaning of the term IOUDAIOI (namely:"Judeans") in the CG. See
      >> Richard Horsley (_Galilee_, 44-52 and _Archaeology, History and
      >> Society in Galilee_; 25-28, 94) on IOUDAIOI as a province-specific
      >> reference to Judeans in the time, within Palestine, but outside of Palestine
      >> a term used to include all those who were "subject to Herod and the
      >> Jerusalem temple-state" (_Archaeology_, 94).
      >>
      >>I submit that CG was generated not in Jerusalem per Crossan, but by
      >> Galileans, who have a historic animosity toward Judeans going back to the
      >>Davidic-Solomonic United Kingdom and the hostility toward those
      >> monarchs and their practices, particularly Solomon, against the Northern
      >> Tribes (see again, Horsley, _Galilee_, 24 and _Archaeology_, 20). I
      >> think it is quite significant that in CG, according to Crossan's
      >> reconstruction (59f.) that Jesus is mocked as "King of Israel," rather
      >> than "King of the Jews" as in the Gospel of >Peter. And the
      > >inscription placed on the cross in CG reads: "this is the King of Israel."
      > >What is revealed to me in this, a point that Crossan does not make, is
      > >that the socio-historical/theological scenario of CG is based upon the
      >> historic bitterness that existed between the people, who trace their
      >> heritage back to the northern kingdom of Israel and to its northern tribal
      >> roots (the Galileans), and their ethnic/religious cousins in Judea. Thus,
      >> CG represents an internecine, acrimonious drama, in which the Galilean
      >> Christians accuse the Judeans of crucifying Jesus under the aegis of the
      >> despised ruler of Galilee, Herod Antipas, who historically would have
      >> had no jurisdiction over Jesus in Jerusalem, where Jesus was arrested
      >> and summarily executed by Pilate. Pilate and the Romans, with respect
      >> to culpability for Jesus' death were a non-issue for CG in the face of
      >> this internecine theological/christological warfare waged by the Galilean
      >> Christians against the Judean Temple establishment who put Jesus
      > >to death....
      >
      > This is an interesting argument that has some merit.

      Thank you.

      Ted
    • Bob Schacht
      ... Ted, There are two things here that you seem to have gotten mixed up: 1. Did Jesus followers, his closest associates during his earthly life, know when
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 2, 2002
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        At 07:35 PM 2/2/2002 -0600, Ted Weeden wrote:
        >Bob Schacht wrote on Thursday, January 31, 2002:
        >
        > > Ted Weeden wrote, about half-way through his post:
        > > >...I think Crossan does make it clear why CG and John depict
        > > > Jesus dying on Nisan 14 and Mark, Matthew and Luke on
        > > > Nisan 15.. Since the disciples did not know when Jesus was
        > > > crucified (see my response below), Crossan suggests that,
        > > > since no one knew exactly when Jesus was crucified, the next
        > > > best option was to choose a date during the Passover that
        > > > had symbolic theological meaning. ...
        > >
        > > Ted,
        > > I find this claim quite incredible. By all accounts, Jesus was publicly
        > > executed, and his body on the cross was visible for all to see for several
        > > days. Even if the disciples were not personal witnesses, there must have
        > > been hundreds who were witnesses.
        >
        >Bob, I can appreciate how the claim Crossan makes, with which I concur, is to
        >you quite incredible. According to the canonical Gospels and CG, if you
        >will,
        >the crucifixion is a public event. But the historicity of those accounts,
        >aside
        >from the *historical fact* of the crucifixion, has been questioned by a good
        >number of scholars.

        Ted,
        There are two things here that you seem to have gotten mixed up:
        1. Did Jesus' followers, his closest associates during his earthly life,
        know when the crucifixion was?
        2. Did the evangelists who wrote about Jesus' crucifixion have their
        historical facts straight?
        These are two VERY different questions, since by most accounts the
        evangelists were writing more than a generation after the events being
        reported. I suggest (for reasons to be elaborated below) that the answer to
        the first question is a resounding YES, but I concede that the answer to
        the second question is much in doubt.

        There is a third factor, which I glossed over in my initial response. What
        you wrote was
        >...since no one knew exactly when Jesus was crucified...

        Now, depending on what is meant by "exactly", the answers to some of the
        above questions might vary. For example, if we are quibbling about what
        hour of the day was he crucified, I am not ready to argue that the
        disciples knew the exact time. But surely they knew the day. The accounts
        of some evangelists may have been modified by their theological agenda
        about the significance of the Passover, but in any case even the
        evangelist's accounts agree within about 48 hours or so.

        > I cite, besides Crossan and myself, Helmut Koester
        >when he states (_ Ancient Christian Gospels_, 224): "One can assume that
        >the only historical information about Jesus; suffering, crucifixion, and death
        >was that he was condemned to death by Pilate and crucified.

        I take it that he is referring here to historical information in the
        surviving written accounts. He does not refer to whatever knowledge the
        disciples themselves had.

        > And, I quote
        >from Robert Funk and the Jesus Seminar, _ The Acts of Jesus_ (155): "In
        >the collective judgment of the Fellows, the details of the [Markan]
        >crucifixion
        >scene were inspired largely by Psalm 22 and related prophetic texts. In
        >spite
        >of that firm conviction, none of the Fellows doubts that Jesus was
        >crucified (v.
        >24a). They are confident that he was crucified in Jerusalem, at a site
        >outside
        >the old city walls. Just about everything else in the story was inspired by
        >some scripture."

        Again, what is under discussion here is the surviving story, not what the
        disciples knew. So you are mixing up two very different claims.

        >...And upon what basis do you argue that "there must have been hundreds
        >who were
        >witnesses?"

        Because, as is well known, the Romans *intended* crucifixion as a *public
        spectacle.* If all they wanted to do was to kill Jesus, they could have
        done that quickly and quietly. But the very purpose of crucifixion, under
        Roman imperialism, was the most public possible execution, in the most
        degrading manner possible, with the express purpose of serving as a warning
        to any followers of the crucified person to abandon their cause or they
        risk the same fate. Thus, I take it, the Roman purpose in *crucifying*
        Jesus, as opposed to just killing him quickly and quietly, was to send a
        very public message to the followers (disciples) of Jesus that their cause
        was hopeless. I take it that the Romans *wanted* the disciples to know
        Jesus' fate. In keeping with the very public nature and Roman imperial
        purpose of crucifixion, crucifixions took place near a city gate, the
        purpose of which was to maximize exposure to as many people going in and
        out of the city as possible.

        Furthermore, it happens that by all accounts Jesus was crucified at a time
        when Jerusalem would have been crowded with thousands of out of town
        travelers visiting for the Passover.

        > The Gospels do suggest religious leaders (chief priests, etc.),
        >soldiers (the centurion, in particular), the two crucified with Jesus, a
        >gathering of hostile bystanders, and the women (see below on them). Lk.
        >23:27-31 is Lukan fictive creativity. And the Johannine depiction of Jesus'
        >mother and the beloved disciple at the cross is part of John's own agenda, but
        >is not historical. All of these persons in the Gospels' respective
        >crucifixion narratives play only the role of persona in the dramatization
        >of Ps. 22 and
        >other OT texts, which the early church drew upon to flesh out the details
        >of the
        >crucifixion for its own kerygmatic and faith needs, details which they had no
        >awareness of except that Jesus was crucified.

        Again, you are confusing the crucifixion narratives, written a generation
        later, with what the disciples themselves knew.

        > For the sake of the argument,
        >let us assume that some of those serving as dramatis personae were in fact,
        >historical figures who were present (some soldiers, perhaps some Jewish
        >authorities and bystanders). They would not likely have much interest in
        >preserving the memory of the date of the crucifixion and passing it on to the
        >absent disciples, since these persons, with the exception of the
        >centurion, are
        >presented as hostile toward Jesus in the crucifixion narratives(see concerning
        >the women below).

        What do you suppose that the disciples were doing all this time? Do you
        really suppose that none of them were with Jesus when he was arrested
        (contrary to our only surviving accounts, as well as common sense)? Do you
        really suppose that none of them wondered what happened to Jesus, or where
        he, who they were traveling with, and were expecting to see on a daily
        basis, was? Do you really suppose that they heard nothing about any
        crucifixions, and, knowing that Jesus had been arrested and taken away, had
        no interest in finding out who was crucified? Do you really suppose that
        their indifference continued for the entire period of time that Jesus was
        on the cross, and that not one of them, nor any of their friends, bothered
        to check out who had been crucified? Do you really think that the public
        rumor mills about those who had been crucified was completely silent or
        never reached the ears of the disciples or any of their friends?


        >The only non-hostile persons to Jesus present at the crucifixion, according to
        >the Gospel narratives, are the women. In _Acts_ (264) the JS Fellows do think
        >that this may be an accurate historical detail.

        Again, you are back to dealing with texts written more than a generation
        earlier. Remember this debate started with your allegation that the
        *disciples,* the living, breathing companions of Jesus, did not know when
        Jesus was crucified.

        >[snip]
        > > > As Crossan sees it, the oldest tradition of Jesus' trial, i.e. the major
        > > > portion of the Cross Gospel, "began not with historical information";
        > > > those closest to Jesus knew only that he was crucified "during the
        > > > Passover time"; they did not know "the exact day" (!).
        >
        > > Reliable historical information on the trial is not available, but
        > the date
        > > of the crucifixion was public knowledge. The disciples surely must have
        > > known the day when Jesus was crucified.
        >
        >Public knowledge to whom? Who but Jesus' closest followers? Where is there
        >first-hand, authentic witness or memory of the crucifixion and when it
        >happened
        >to be found anywhere in the NT. Paul never mentions anything more than the
        >"*dass*" of the crucifixion. Q and Thomas are silent. Only the canonical
        >Gospel writers and author(s) of CG give the date and they disagree as I
        >noted....

        Again, what the evangelists knew a generation after the crucifixion, does
        not limit what the disciples knew, in the midst of the events in question.
        What was public knowledge on the day Jesus was crucified is not limited by
        what was public knowledge a generation later. If the authors of the Gospels
        did not have access to first-hand authentic witnesses or memory of the
        crucifixion, that evidence does not mean that the disciples did not have
        access to such information at the time of the crucifixion.

        Besides, the argument for lack of historicity among gospel accounts rests
        largely on disagreements among those accounts, doesn't it? But all that
        means is that we can't tell which account, if any, was the most historical.
        One of the Gospel accounts may well have had access to authentic eyewitness
        accounts, but because the accounts disagree in various details, we can't
        evaluate them adequately.

        I hope this clarifies my point.

        Incidentally, I am intrigued by the possibility that the Gospel of Peter
        does indeed preserve a Markan source, but I disagree about the historical
        value of that source. I think Brian Trafford raises a number of interesting
        points in this regard, even though he thinks the CG is not early. But that
        is another debate.

        Thanks,
        Bob


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jack Kilmon
        ... From: Bob Schacht To: Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 10:35 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Thesis: Mark
        Message 3 of 12 , Feb 3, 2002
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Bob Schacht" <r_schacht@...>
          To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 10:35 PM
          Subject: Re: [XTalk] Thesis: Mark Used Cross Gospel in 15:42-16:8, Pt.1


          Bob wrote:
          > Furthermore, it happens that by all accounts Jesus was crucified at a time
          > when Jerusalem would have been crowded with thousands of out of town
          > travelers visiting for the Passover.

          It is this context that suggests, to me, that the crucifixion did take place
          very close to Pesach. Pilatus was a ruthless prefect and one could
          speculate with possible connections to Sejanus would want to keep a low
          profile for his prefecture. His presence at Fortress Antonia suggests he
          left his plush digs in Caesarea specifically to be on hand with auxiliary
          troops from Syria in case trouble broke out. Jerusalem, with a population of
          about 50,000 swelled at this time perhaps to 200,000, was a tense place and
          Pilatus was ready to quickly and ruthlessly swat any fly at the slightest
          hint of trouble. This "reluctant innocent," as depicted by the evangelists,
          was a thug who would crucify hundreds in a heartbeat. I agree with those
          scholars who conclude Jesus was on a "suicide mission" fully intending to
          "fulfull the scriptures" (Psalm 22).
          I also find incredible the notion that Jesus' disciples were in some sort of
          Markan fog, perhaps wandering around while Jesus was on the cross saying.
          "Hey! Where's the boss?"
          I find this idea that Mark used ther same source document as GPeter
          intriguing. If that is so, it means to me that the CG was an Aramaic
          document. I may want to examine the Greek of the CG for Aramaic
          interference. Sounds like a good Sunday project.

          Jack


          -----
          ______________________________________________
          Dakma dabadton l'chad min haleyn achi zoreh li hav abadton

          Jack Kilmon
          San Marcos, Tx
          jkilmon@...

          http://www.historian.net

          sharing a meal for free.
          http://www.thehungersite.com/
        • FMMCCOY
          ... From: Ted Weeden To: Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002 7:12 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: [Synoptic-L]
          Message 4 of 12 , Feb 4, 2002
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Ted Weeden" <weedent@...>
            To: <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2002 7:12 PM
            Subject: Re: [XTalk] Re: [Synoptic-L] Thesis: Mark Used Cross Gospel in
            15:42-16:8, Pt.1


            > Whether the Gospel of Peter is anti-Jewish or not is not the issue. What
            is the
            > issue is whether or not CG is ant-Jewish. And I do NOT see CG as
            anti-Jewish!
            > I do see it, going beyond Crossan, as ANTI-JUDEAN! And that is a
            significant
            > difference. Judeans is the meaning of the term IOUDAIOI (namely:
            "Judeans") in
            > the CG. See Richard Horsley (_Galilee_, 44-52 and _Archaeology, History
            and
            > Society in Galilee_; 25-28, 94) on IOUDAIOI as a province-specific
            reference to
            > Judeans in the time, within Palestine, but outside of Palestine a term
            used to
            > include all those who were "subject to Herod and the Jerusalem
            temple-state"
            > (_Archaeology_, 94).
            >
            > I submit that CG was generated not in Jerusalem per Crossan, but by
            Galileans,
            > who have a historic anomosity toward Judeans going back to the
            Davidic-Solomonic
            > United Kingdom and the hostility toward those monarchs and their
            practices,
            > particularly Solomon, against the Northern Tribes (see again, Horsley,
            > _Galilee_, 24 and _Archaeology_, 20). I think it is quite significant
            that in
            > CG, according to Crossan's reconstruction (59f.) that Jesus is mocked as
            "King
            > of Israel," rather than "King of the Jews" as in the Gospel of Peter.
            And the
            > inscription placed on the cross in CG reads: "this is the King of Israel."
            > What is revealed to me in this, a point that Crossan does not make, is
            that the
            > socio-historical/theological scenario of CG is based upon the historic
            > bitterness that existed between the people, who trace their heritage back
            to the
            > northern kingdom of Israel and to its northern tribal roots (the
            Galileans), and
            > their ethnic/religious cousins in Judea. Thus, CG represents an
            internecine,
            > acrimonious drama, in which the Galilean Christians accuse the Judeans of
            > crucifying Jesus under the aegis of the despised ruler of Galilee, Herod
            > Antipas, who historically would have had no jurisdiction over Jesus in
            > Jerusalem, where Jesus was arrested and summarily executed by Pilate.
            Pilate
            > and the Romans, with respect to culpability for Jesus' death were a
            non-issue
            > for CG in the face of this internecine theological/christological warfare
            waged
            > by the Galilean Christians against the Judean Temple establishment who put
            Jesus
            > to death.
            >
            > Thus, I would date CG in the 40's but not originating in Jerusalem, but
            Galilee,
            > as I noted above, where Mark gained access to it, living himself in a
            village
            > region likely considered to be within in the general area of Galilee.
            Note in
            > John's Gospel that John places Bethsaida in Galilee (12:21) and Bethsaida
            is on
            > the eastern edge of the Jordan River, with the village region of Caesarea
            > Philippi almost due north. And note my discussion on geography of Galilee
            in my
            > essay, "Guidelines for Locating the Markan Community."
            >

            Dear Ted Weeden:

            *If* Crossan's hypothesis that there is an early strata in the Gospel of
            Peter that consists of 1:1-2. 5b-6:22. 7:25, 8:28-10:42, and 11:45-49 is
            correct, then the question arises as to the sitz em leben for the creation
            of this postulated CG.

            If I understand you correctly, you take it that Crossan's hypothesis is
            correct. Further, you hypothesise that it was written sometime in the
            forties in Galilee.

            I am not sure that Crossan's hypothesis is correct. However, assuming (for
            the sake of argument) that it is correct, I suggest that a more probable
            hypothesis is that CG was written in 70 or 71 CE by a Roman
            soldier--likely a centurion in the fifteenth legion while being stationed at
            Alexandria

            (Note: In this post, quotes from the postulated CG are taken from Crossan's
            translation of it in Who Killed Jesus, pp.224-227. Interestingly, he (p.
            223) speculates that it might have been written in the Galilean city of
            Sepphoris)

            (Note: At the end of this post, a suggestion is made that 7:26 should be
            considered a part of CG)

            1:1-2

            The beginning to the postulated CG is lost. What is preserved of it begins
            in mid-sentence in 1:1-2, "...[1:1] But of the Jews none washed their hands,
            neither Herod nor any one of his judges. And as they would not wash, Pilate
            arose. [1:2] And then Herod the king commanded that the Lord should be
            marched off, saying to them, 'What I have commanded you to do to him, do
            ye.'"

            This is a basic mis-understanding of the reality of the situation in
            Jerusalem c. 30 CE.

            At that time, there was no Herod who was a king and was the chief Jewish
            authority in Jerusalem. Rather, there was a Herod (i.e., Herod Antipas) who
            ruled Galilee and Perea and who was a tetrarch rather than a king. Further,
            the person who was the chief Jewish authority in Jerusalem was Joseph
            Caiaphus, the High Priest.

            Would a Galilean, writing in the 40s, have such a basic mis-understanding of
            the situation in Jerusalem c. 30 CE? I think this highly improbable.

            Now, in the period immediately preceding the Jewish revolt in 66 CE, there
            was a Herod who was a king and who, in Jerusalem, was more powerful than the
            High Priest. This is Herod Agrippa II. While he was not a king of Judea
            (for Judea remained under the direct rule of Roman procurators), he had the
            authority to appoint and depose High Priests.

            So, ISTM, what we have in 1:1-2 is a situation in which the author is
            wrongfully and ignorantly projecting back to 30 CE a much later reality of a
            king named Herod being the chief Jewish authority in Jerusalem.

            This, ISTM, is inconsistent with the hypothesis that CG was written by a
            Galilean in the 40s. It is, though, consistent with the hypothesis that CG
            was written by a Roman soldier c. 70 CE who ignorantly and wrongfully
            projected the political reality of the situation at Jerusalem in the period
            immediately preceding the Jewish revolt back to the time when Jesus was
            crucified.

            2:5b

            The CG thusly continues, "[2:5b] And he delivered him to the people on the
            day before the unleavened bread, their feast."

            Here, the author of CG refers to the feast of unleavened bread as being
            "their feast".

            This creates difficulties for the hypothesis that this author is a Galilean.

            In Archaeology History and Society in Galilee, Richard A. Horsley (p. 25)
            states, "If, as argued above, the Galileans were descendants of the former
            northen Israelites, then insofar as they shared certain Mosaic and other
            traditions of early Israel with the Jerusalem temple-state and their
            long-lost cousins, the Judean peasantry, the adjustment would have been
            easier because of their common heritage."

            A part of "their common heritage" was the mighty salvific act of God
            delivering the Israelites from bondage in Egypt--an act that is hearkened
            back to in the feast of unleavened bread. So, ISTM, no Galilean, even if,
            as Horsley and you suggest, the Galileans deemed themselves to be Israelites
            rather than Judeans, would disown this festival and speak of it only being a
            feast for Judeans.

            Conversely, this supports the hypothesis that the author is a Roman soldier
            and, so, a Gentile. For such a person, this would have been a feast
            observed only by members of a wholly other group, i.e., the Jews (in the
            sense of the Hebrews)--be they Judean, Galilean, Egyptian, or whatever.

            7:25

            Next, let us look at 7:25, a part of the postulated CG, which reads,
            "Then the Jews and the elders and the priests, perceiving what great evil
            they had done to themselves, began to lament and to say, 'Woe on our sins,
            the judgment and the end of Jerusalem is drawn nigh.'"

            This reveals, I suggest, a knowledge of the sacking and destroying of
            Jerusalem in 70 CE.

            If so, then this passage from the CG is inconsistent with the dating of it
            to the forties, but is consistent with a dating of it to 70 or 71 CE: when
            this event was still fresh in the minds of almost all people.


            8:28-10:42

            The longest unit of the postulated CG is 8:28-10:42, which reads, "[8:28]
            But the scribes and Pharisees and elders,
            being assembled together and hearing that all the people were murmuring and
            beating their breasts, saying, 'If at his death these exceeding great signs
            have come to pass, behold how righteous he was!'--[8:29] the elders were
            afraid and came to Pilate, entreating him and saying, [8:30] 'Give us
            soldiers that we may watch his sepulchre for three days, lest his disciples
            come and steal him away and the people suppose that he is risen from the
            dead, and do us harm.' [8:31] And Pilate gave them Petronius the centurion
            with soldiers to watch the sepulchre. [8:32] And with them there came elders
            and scribes to the sepulchre. And all who were there, together with the
            centurion and the soldiers, rolled thither a great stone and alid it against
            the entrance to the sepulchre [8:33] and put on it seven seals, pitched a
            tent and kept watch. [9:34] Early in the morning, when the Sabbath dawned,
            there came a crowd from Jerusalem and the country round about to see the
            sepulchre that had been sealed. [9:35] Now in the night in which the Lord's
            day dawned, when the soldiers, two by two in every watch, were keeping
            guard, there rang out a loud voice in heaven, [9:36] and they saw the
            heavens opened and two men come down from there in a great brightness and
            draw nigh to the sepulchre [9:37] That stone which had been laid against
            the entrance to the sepulchre started of itself to roll and give way to the
            side, and the sepulchre was opened, and both the young men entered in.
            [10:38] When now those soldiers saw this, they awakened the centurion and
            the elders--for they also were there to assist at the watch. [10:39] And
            whilst they were relating what they had seen, they saw again three men come
            out from the sepulchre, and two of them sustaining the other, and a cross
            following them, [10:40] and the heads of the two reaching to heaven, but
            that of him who was led of them by the hand overpassing the heavens. [10:41]
            And they heard a voice out of the heavens crying, 'Hast thou preached to
            them that sleep?' [10:42] and from the cross there was heard to the answer,
            'Yea.'

            One of the things to note about this passage is the focus on Roman soldiers,
            particularly a centurion: who is even named! Further, they are privileged
            to see Jesus' resurrection and return to heven.

            This, ISTM, is difficult to reconcile with the author being a Galilean.
            There were, of course, many Galileans, particularly in Sepphoris and
            Tiberias, who accepted the reality of Roman rule and even benefitted from it
            and, therefore, had little or no interest in revolting against Rome.
            However, I don't think it plausible that they so admired Roman soldiers that
            they thought them worthy of being privileged by God to see a miraculous
            sight that transformed history.

            Another striking feature of this passage is that the most holy day of the
            week is not the Sabbath (Saturday), but "the Lord's day (Sunday)".

            This is difficult to reconcile with CG being written by a Galilean in the
            40s. As far as I know, in the forties, all Galileans, even those who were
            followers of Jesus, took the Sabbath to be the holiest day of the week.

            On the other hand, it is easy to reconcile with the CG being written by a
            Roman soldier.

            For example, Mithraism was a religion of soldiers. So, in The Mysteries of
            Mithra, Franz Cumont (p.40), states, 'The Mithraic religion is predominantly
            a religion of soldiers, and it was not without good reason that the name of
            *milites* was given to a certain grade of initiates."

            Further, in Mithraism, Sunday is the holiest day. So, Cumont (p. 167)
            states, "Each day in the week the Planet to which the day was sacred was
            invoked in a fixed spot in the crypt; and Sunday, over which the Sun
            presided, was especially holy."

            (Note: To this emphasis that there is a planet for each day, i.e., seven
            planets in total, compare 8:28-10:42, where seven seals are placed on the
            stone).

            So, because Mithraism was popular with soldiers and held Sunday to be the
            holiest day of the week, it is understandable why the author of CG took
            Sunday, rather than the Sabbath, to be the holiest day *if* he had been a
            Roman soldier.

            A third striking feature of 8:28-10:42 is the departure scene--where Jesus
            supasses the heavens, the two men tower into the first heaven, and there is
            a cross that talks, but not crossly. This is, to the best of my knowledge,
            unique to CG.

            Further, I know of only thing that is even remotely close to this. This is
            Philo's exegesis on Exodus 25:22 (the relevant portion of which Philo
            renders as, "I will talk with thee from above the Mercy-seat, between the
            two Cherubim") in Fuga (100-102): where he speaks of "the lid of the ark,
            which he calls the Mercy-seat, representing the gracious power; while the
            creative and kingly powers are represented by the winged Cherubim that rest
            upon it. The Divine Logos, who is high above all these, has not been
            visibly portrayed, being like to no one of the objects of sense."

            What is similar to both is that, in each, you have (1) one being higher than
            any of the others (Jesus (who alone extends above the heavens) and the Logos
            (who is high above all the others)), (2) two other beings lower than this
            (the two men (who extend only to the first heaven) and the two Cherubim
            (i.e., the creative and kingly powers)), and, finally, (3) an inanimate
            object that is lowest of all and represents a living being (the cross (an
            inanimate object that is lowest of all (for it doesn't even reach to the
            first heaven) and represents a living being (for it talks)) and the
            Mercy-seat (an inanimate object upon which rest the Cherubim and which
            represents a living being (the gracious power))).

            Further, if one assumes that, in CG, (1) Jesus is the Logos become flesh
            and, so, the Logos become an object of sense, and (2) the two men are the
            two Cherubim, i.e., the creative and kingly powers, and (3) the cross is the
            replacement of the Mercy-seat as the place upon which blood is to be
            sprinkled for the forgiveness of sins, then (4) the similarites become
            identity.

            So, I suggest, the author of CG understood Jesus to have been Philo's Logos
            become flesh. Further, he understood, Jesus died on the cross to
            atone for our sins. Finally, he read Fuga and creatively utilized
            sections 100-102 of it to construct his dramatic scene of Jesus' departure
            from the sepulchre--with Jesus being the Logos, the two men being the two
            Cherubim and the cross being a new and superior Mercy-seat.that has replaced
            the obsolete old one.

            In line with this suggestion, his two favorite titles for Jesus are Lord and
            Son of God and both of these are titles of the Logos.

            If this suggestion is correct, then the likeliest place of composition for
            CG would be Philo's home town of Alexandria. Further, as, in this case,
            the author of CG understood that the Mercy-seat is obsolete, it would have
            most likely been written after destruction of the temple in 70 CE. As a
            result, it is consistent with the hypothesis that the author of CG had not
            only been a Roman soldier, but had written it at Alexandria in 70 or 71 CE.

            So, to summarize, 8:28-10:42 creates a number of problems for the hypothesis
            that CG was written by a Galilean in the forties. On the other hand, it is
            supportive of the hypothesis that CG was written by a Roman soldier in 70/71
            CE. Further, it supports the idea that this soldier belonged to a legion
            that had worshippers of Mithra(s) in it and, so, treated Sunday as the
            holiest day, and that had been stationed at Alexandria when he wrote CG.
            That is to say, it supports the idea that this soldier had belonged to the
            fifteenth legion: which, we know from archeological evidence, had
            worshippers of Mithra(s) in it and which had been stationed at Alexandria in
            70/71CE.

            Cumont (p. 47) states, "In 71 or 72 A.D., Vespasian caused this important
            strategic position (i.e., Carnuntum) to be occupied by the *legio XV
            Apollinaris*, which for the preceding eight or nine years had been warring
            in the Orient. Sent in 63 A.D. to the Euphrates to reinforce the army which
            Corbulo was leading aginst the Parthians, it had taken part during the years
            67 to 70 A.D. in suppressing the uprisings of the Jews and had subsequently
            accompanied Titus to Alexandria...There has been found at Carnuntum a votive
            Mithraic inscription due to a soldier of the Apollinarian legion bearing the
            characteristic name of *Barbarus*."

            CONCLUSION

            If CG was an actual document, then the question arises as to its sitz em
            leben. In this post, two hypotheses are considered. The first is that it
            was written sometime during the forties in Galilee. The second is that it
            was written 70/71 CE by a Roman soldier--likely a centurion in the
            fifteenth legion. while stationed at Alexandria. Overall, the weight of the
            evidence appears to favor the second hypothesis.

            If this second hypothesis is correct, then the author of CG was a Gentile
            and, so, its references to "Jews" are not to be taken to be references to
            Judeans, but, rather, to all Hebrews.

            APPENDIX

            Crossan does not include 7:26 in CG. However, in light of the evidence that
            the author of CG had been a soldier in the fifteenth legion and had written
            CG in 70/71 CE while stationed at Alexandria, I suggest that it should be
            included in the CG.

            It is said in 7:26, "But I mourned with my fellows, and being wounded in
            heart we hid ourselves, for we were sought after by them as evildoers and as
            persons who wanted to set fire to the temple.".

            To begin with, ISTM, 7:26 betrays a knowledge about the fire that swept the
            temple as the Romans seized it..

            Second, in it, "Peter", is eager to disclaim a false charge that he and
            his fellows are evildoers who wanted to set fire to the temple

            What these two points suggest is that, in 7:26, "Peter" is the author of
            this passage and he was a Roman soldier who was trying to counter a
            false allegation that he and his fellow soldeirs were evildoers who had
            wanted to burn the temple proper, i.e., the holy place.

            If so, then 7:26 relates to War (Book VI, Chapt. 4), where Josephus
            describes the burning of the temple complex, climaxing in the burning of the
            holy place.

            At first, the Romans set fire to portions of the temple complex. Then Titus
            commanded that the fires be quenched, so as to make it safe for the bulk of
            his army to enter the temple complex. However, this was not perfectly
            accomplished, so some fires continued to burn in the temple complex.

            Next, Titus held a war council with his innermost circle of commanders:
            including Titus Frigius, the commander of the 15th legion. In this council,
            Titus said that the holy place, i.e., the temple proper, should not be
            burned. According to Josephus, three of the commanders loudly agreed with
            this--but, perhaps significantly, these three did not include Titus Frigius.

            The next day, Roman soldiers were able to penetrate deep enough into the
            temple complex to reach the temple proper. What happens next is thusly
            related by Josephus (Sect 5), "At which time one of the soldiers, without
            staying for any orders, and without any concern or dread upon him at so
            great an undertaking, and being hurried on by a certain divine fury,
            snatched somewhat out of the materials that were on fire, and being lifted
            up by another soldier, he set fire to a golden window, through which there
            was a passage to the rooms that were round about the holy house, on the
            north side of it."

            When Titus heard of this, he ran to the scene, with his commanders and their
            legions following him. Then Titus gave orders to quench the fire. However,
            his order was rebelliously ignored by the soldiers. Josephus (Sect. 6)
            relates, "And when they (i.e., the Roman soldiers arriving on the scene)
            were come near the holy house, they made as if they did not so much as hear
            Caesar's orders to the contrary; but they encouraged those before them to
            set it on fire."

            Next, Titus made one last vain effort to save the temple proper from being
            consumed by fire. He ordered a centurion, named Liberalius, and his men to
            beat the other soldiers with staves, so as to restrain them from spreading
            the fire and to induce them to quench it. However, because of their hatred
            of the Jews and their lust for all the money and gold in the temple proper,
            the soldiers set fire to the hinges of the gate of the temple proper, and
            the fire immediately spread into the temple proper and destroyed it. So,
            concludes Josephus (Sect. 7), "Thus was the holy house burnt down, without
            Caesar's approbation."

            What Josephus' account reveals is that there was a version of the burning
            of the temple complex, according to which the Roman soldiers were evildoers
            in that they deliberately and rebelliously disobeyed Titus' order to spare
            the temple proper by proceeding to make sure that it be destroyed by fire.

            I think we are now in a position to understand why, in 7:26, "Peter" and his
            fellows complain about being branded as evildoers who wanted to burn down
            the temple.

            "Peter" is none other than the author of 7:26--who, in this
            case, was one of the soldiers who were involved in the final assault on
            the temple proper. At the time he wrote 7:26, he was incensed over what he
            deemed to be false charges that he and his fellow soldiers were evildoers in
            that they had wanted to burn down the temple proper and, indeed, had wanted
            to burn it down so badly that they even deliberately and rebelliously
            ignored Titus' orders to the contrary.

            If so, then the author of 7:26 would seem to be the author of the Cross
            Gospel: for, as pointed out earlier in this post, there is evidence that
            this gospel might have been written by a soldier in the fifteenth
            legion--one of the legions involved in the final assault on the temple
            proper.

            So, I suggest, 7:26 is a part of the Cross Gospel.

            Sincerely,

            Frank McCoy
            1809 N. English Apt. 17
            Maplewood, MN USA 55109
          • Karel Hanhart
            ... Ted, You ask me what methodology I use. Briefly, the same methodology as you use. Applying techniques we have learnt: f.i. text criticism, form criticism;
            Message 5 of 12 , Feb 8, 2002
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              Ted Weeden wrote in response to what:

              > Karel Hanhart wrote on Tuesday, January 29, 2002:
              >
              >
              > Karel, I would appreciate your sharing with me the methodology you use for
              > determining whether Mark is involved in a midrashic hermeneutic of a LXX text.
              > Could you share that methodology with me and tell me what you perceive to be
              > Mark's methodology with respect to deciding when a midrash on a LXX text is
              > needed and when it is not, as well as how you know that a present-day
              > interpreter is not reading a LXX connection into a Markan, a connection Mark may
              > not have considered himself?
              >
              > > Tell me, why did the editors refer to all possible references in
              > > Mark to the LXX and why did they ignore this last one? Is perhaps the reason
              > that
              > > the idea of an empty tomb has become so deeply ingrained in the Western mind
              > that a
              > > possible reference to Isaiah is simply ignored? They ought to have a good
              > reason for
              > > the omission.
              >
              > I do not know the answer to your question. I suspect the editors of the Nestle
              > text, as well as translations of the Greek text, cite the obvious references or
              > allusions to the LXX in the New Testament. By the way Robert Gundry (_Mark_)
              > does state on p. 982, with respect to 15:46, thus: "Mark describes the tomb as
              > 'hewn out of rock' (cf. Isa 22:16)." So you are not alone in seeing a
              > connection between 15:46 and Isa. 22:16.
              >

              Ted,

              You ask me what methodology I use. Briefly, the same methodology as you use.
              Applying techniques we have learnt: f.i. text criticism, form criticism; redaction
              criticism, rhetorical analysis; synchronic reading and diachronic reading etc.
              But I would like to call attention to what I would call the Judean approach to
              Scripture. I ask myself: how would a first century Judean view the world in his/her
              day and in what way would
              they make use of the Scriptures to express this view.
              We exegetes, existentially have this in common : we are engaged in digging for the
              roots of the christian faith. Most of us, that is. The great majority of
              interpreters of the Gospel, I suspect, have decided to pursue our difficult and
              precarious task because of a search for truth related to our own
              tradition, be it Catholic, Orthodox, or the various branches of Protestantism.
              Many of us would call themselves "agnost", others are prepared to defend their own
              tradition, few would say they are atheist.
              I regard it essential to do our digging in openminded dialogue with fellow
              diggers of a different tradition. The more one is willing to forego an entrenched
              position once one has been persuaded by the arguments of a fellow exegete (no matter
              how painful the change of heart), the more one reaches a deeper level of the meaning
              of the text. In the case of the open-tomb-story this change of heart is not a light
              matter, for it concerns the concept of resurrection; a fundamental issue. In my
              experience I have learnt more from Catholic scholars than from fellow Reformed
              exegetes. This is not because Catholics are necessarily better scholars; it is
              because I had less trouble sympathizing with the views of Protestant scholars with
              regard to Mt 16,16-18, of the witness to Mary, than with Catholics. But precisely in
              dialogue with them one discovers aspects of historical truth one had not as yet
              discovered. I I have had the privilege to work extensively with them and with
              Jewish scholars, especially in studying Judaica. Saying that Catholic, Jewish and
              Protestant scholars each have their own agenda, is kicking in an open door. One
              soon discovers how little knowledge most Protestants have of Patristics, or of the
              value of liturgy and sacraments, how deeply we Presbyterians have been influenced by
              John Calvin e.g. In dialogue with Jewish scholars one must learn to accept that they
              start their archeological dig from a different angle and with a different
              motivation. But our fellow Jewish diggers are also existentially motivated to
              discover the historical and spiritual truths (and lies) of faith and life in the
              first century province of Judea.
              Briefly, in my career as interpreter, I regard the scholarly dialogue in stead
              of arguing from an entrenched position as the most fruitful 'method' of interpreting
              the Gospel. I regard the dialogue with Jewish scholars as the most important aspect
              of our work. The study of Judaica is a long and arduous task; I am convinced it
              will bear rich fruit. Perhaps, you'll understand better why I objected to terms
              like "scouring the LXX to find terms to piece together in such patch-like
              fashion?". But you already expressed regret of having used the term scouring.

              I trust you agree with the need for a scholarship in dialogue..

              your Karel

              In a following post I will try to elaborate further why I believe Mark conveyed his
              convictions in 15,42-16,8 through midrash. .

              >
            • Karel Hanhart
              ... Dear Ted, Your words of caution are well taken. In fact, in former posts I warned against the disease which Samuel Sandmel once called parallellomania,
              Message 6 of 12 , Feb 17, 2002
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                Ted Weeden wrote:

                > Karel Hanhart wrote on Friiday, February 08, 2002:
                >
                > > Ted,
                > >
                > > You ask me what methodology I use. Briefly, the same methodology as you use.
                >
                >
                >
                > Karel,
                >
                > Thank you for sharing your own personal, scholarly journey. I respect that. I,
                > too, try to be open to the theses of others.
                >
                > When I asked you about your methodology, I was hoping you would give some
                > insight as to how you arrive at the position that a LXX text is specifically in
                > the mind of Mark when he composes his Gospel. What clues does Mark offer that
                > suggests irrefutable evidence that Mark is drawing upon that specific text?
                > And how do you know when what is thought to be Markan dependency on a LXX text
                > is not just an erroneous hunch in the mind of the interpreter of Mark. I have
                > found Meir Sternberg's _The Poetics of Biblical Narrative_ to be an eye opener
                > not only to faulty Rabbinic exegesis of Tanak texts but also to the Pandora's
                > Box that is opened by hermeneuts every time we try to draw conclusions about
                > what a biblical author intends when that author fails, and some times
                > intentionally so, to provide explicit clues as to how his mind is working in the
                > composition of a biblical story. I find the following quote by Sternberg, with
                > respect to drawing illegitimate hypotheses about what a biblical author is
                > thinking about when that author has not given clear clues to his thinking, both
                > stunning and alarming. Here is what Sternberg says (188):
                >
                > "Illegitimate gap-filling [drawing unwarranted conclusions about texts when the
                > author has left gaps in information the reader needs in order to understand what
                > the author is thinking] is one launched and sustained by the reader's subjective
                > concerns (or dictated by more general preconceptions) rather than by the text's
                > own norms and directives. A case in point is the readings to which the rabbis
                > subject biblical stories. The hypotheses they frame are often based on
                > assumptions that have no relevance to the world of the Bible (e.g., that Jacob
                > and Esau went to school), receive no support whatever from the textual details,
                > or even fill in what the narrative itself rules out. Where there's a will, the
                > midrash will always find a way."
                >
                > The question I have for you is this: what methodological controls do you use to
                > make sure that the LXX texts you see behind Mark's composition are really there
                > and not read into the text because you make an interesting connection or
                > correlation between a LXX text and the Markan text that appeals to you. In
                > other words, how do avoid in your midrash of falling into the hermeneutical trap
                > Sternberg accuses the rabbis of falling into, namely, "Where there's a will, the
                > midrash will always find a way?"

                Dear Ted,

                Your words of caution are well taken. In fact, in former posts I warned against the
                disease which Samuel Sandmel once called parallellomania, that is an uncontrolled
                search for passages that seem to be a parallel simply because the same or similar
                words are used. However, your citation of Sternberg is not quite applicable, I
                think. Sternberg is evaluating the work of the Rabbi's. "The hypotheses they frame
                are often based on assumptions that have no relevance to the world of the Bible."
                But the question whether Mark was right applying lessons from these verses to the
                situation of his readers, is not at stake here. The question is what did Mark mean
                writing this midrash. This I have tried to do in my book. In it I have simply tested
                the suggestion of C. Montefiore (no mean scholar) that Mark referred to Gn 29,2.3
                LXX Isa 22,16; 33 16. In other words Montefiore suggested Mark did write a midrash.
                Now your question on control. Would Mark's readers have recognized his reference
                to these passages? The answer in my opinion is yes. Because 'a monumental grave hewn
                from the rock' is a HAPAX in Tenakh and in the LXX. They occur just once in the
                Hebrew Scriptures. His readers, being Judeans and knowing Scriptures by heart, would
                have recognized Isa 22,16 - quicker than through the search key of a computer. The
                same holds true for 'the stone - which was very heavy - rolled away'
                The literal citation of Scripture verses by Mark shouldn't be considered to be
                coincidental. Coincidence is mathematically impossible. No matter, how unfamiliar
                the phenomenon and how unrelated the passages seem to be at first, the exegete is
                obligated to thoroughly investigate the matter, before dismissing the possibility.

                Thanks for your reply, Ted. You are really livening up this post. We are discussing
                fundamental issues.

                your Karel.


                >
                >
                > Ted Weeden
                >
                >
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              • Karel Hanhart
                ... Dear Ted, Your words of caution are well taken. In fact, in former posts I warned against the disease which Samuel Sandmel once called parallellomania,
                Message 7 of 12 , Feb 17, 2002
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                  Ted Weeden wrote:

                  > Karel Hanhart wrote on Friiday, February 08, 2002:
                  >
                  > > Ted,
                  > >
                  > > You ask me what methodology I use. Briefly, the same methodology as you use.
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Karel,
                  >
                  > Thank you for sharing your own personal, scholarly journey. I respect that. I,
                  > too, try to be open to the theses of others.
                  >
                  > When I asked you about your methodology, I was hoping you would give some
                  > insight as to how you arrive at the position that a LXX text is specifically in
                  > the mind of Mark when he composes his Gospel. What clues does Mark offer that
                  > suggests irrefutable evidence that Mark is drawing upon that specific text?
                  > And how do you know when what is thought to be Markan dependency on a LXX text
                  > is not just an erroneous hunch in the mind of the interpreter of Mark. I have
                  > found Meir Sternberg's _The Poetics of Biblical Narrative_ to be an eye opener
                  > not only to faulty Rabbinic exegesis of Tanak texts but also to the Pandora's
                  > Box that is opened by hermeneuts every time we try to draw conclusions about
                  > what a biblical author intends when that author fails, and some times
                  > intentionally so, to provide explicit clues as to how his mind is working in the
                  > composition of a biblical story. I find the following quote by Sternberg, with
                  > respect to drawing illegitimate hypotheses about what a biblical author is
                  > thinking about when that author has not given clear clues to his thinking, both
                  > stunning and alarming. Here is what Sternberg says (188):
                  >
                  > "Illegitimate gap-filling [drawing unwarranted conclusions about texts when the
                  > author has left gaps in information the reader needs in order to understand what
                  > the author is thinking] is one launched and sustained by the reader's subjective
                  > concerns (or dictated by more general preconceptions) rather than by the text's
                  > own norms and directives. A case in point is the readings to which the rabbis
                  > subject biblical stories. The hypotheses they frame are often based on
                  > assumptions that have no relevance to the world of the Bible (e.g., that Jacob
                  > and Esau went to school), receive no support whatever from the textual details,
                  > or even fill in what the narrative itself rules out. Where there's a will, the
                  > midrash will always find a way."
                  >
                  > The question I have for you is this: what methodological controls do you use to
                  > make sure that the LXX texts you see behind Mark's composition are really there
                  > and not read into the text because you make an interesting connection or
                  > correlation between a LXX text and the Markan text that appeals to you. In
                  > other words, how do avoid in your midrash of falling into the hermeneutical trap
                  > Sternberg accuses the rabbis of falling into, namely, "Where there's a will, the
                  > midrash will always find a way?"

                  Dear Ted,

                  Your words of caution are well taken. In fact, in former posts I warned
                  against the
                  disease which Samuel Sandmel once called parallellomania, that is an
                  uncontrolled
                  search for passages that seem to be a parallel simply because the same
                  or similar
                  words are used. However, your citation of Sternberg is not quite
                  applicable, I
                  think. Sternberg is evaluating the work of the Rabbi's. "The hypotheses
                  they frame
                  are often based on assumptions that have no relevance to the world of
                  the Bible."
                  But the question whether Mark was right applying lessons from these
                  verses to the
                  situation of his readers, is not at stake here. The question is what did
                  Mark mean
                  writing this midrash. This I have tried to do in my book. In it I have
                  simply tested
                  the suggestion of C. Montefiore (no mean scholar) that Mark referred to
                  Gn 29,2.3
                  LXX Isa 22,16; 33 16. In other words Montefiore suggested Mark did write
                  a midrash.
                  Now your question on control. Would Mark's readers have recognized
                  his reference
                  to these passages? The answer in my opinion is yes. Because 'a
                  monumental grave hewn
                  from the rock' is a HAPAX in Tenakh and in the LXX. They occur just once
                  in the
                  Hebrew Scriptures. His readers, being Judeans and knowing Scriptures by
                  heart, would
                  have recognized Isa 22,16 - quicker than through the search key of a
                  computer. The
                  same holds true for 'the stone - which was very heavy - rolled away'
                  The literal citation of Scripture verses by Mark shouldn't be
                  considered to be
                  coincidental. Coincidence is mathematically impossible. No matter, how
                  unfamiliar
                  the phenomenon and how unrelated the passages seem to be at first, the
                  exegete is
                  obligated to thoroughly investigate the matter, before dismissing the
                  possibility.

                  Thanks for your reply, Ted. You are really livening up this post. We are
                  discussing
                  fundamental issues.

                  your Karel.


                  >
                  >
                  > Ted Weeden
                  >
                  >
                  > The XTalk Home Page is http://ntgateway.com/xtalk/
                  >
                  > To subscribe to Xtalk, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe, send an e-mail to: crosstalk2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > List managers may be contacted directly at: crosstalk2-owners@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                • Bob Schacht
                  ... Karel, How do you know that Judeans knew Scriptures by heart? What Scriptures do you mean? The Law (Torah)? The Prophets? The Writings? All three? Were
                  Message 8 of 12 , Feb 17, 2002
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                    At 10:50 PM 2/17/2002 +0100, Karel Hanhart wrote:


                    >... Now your question on control. Would Mark's readers have recognized his
                    >reference
                    >to these passages? The answer in my opinion is yes. Because 'a monumental
                    >grave hewn
                    >from the rock' is a HAPAX in Tenakh and in the LXX. They occur just once
                    >in the
                    >Hebrew Scriptures. His readers, being Judeans and knowing Scriptures by
                    >heart,...

                    Karel,
                    How do you know that Judeans knew "Scriptures" by heart?
                    What "Scriptures" do you mean? The Law (Torah)? The Prophets? The Writings?
                    All three?
                    Were Mark's *readers* very numerous? Compared, at least, to his *hearers,*
                    many of whom might not have been literate?
                    Do you think they also knew "scriptures" by heart?

                    Just wondering,
                    Bob


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Karel Hanhart
                    ... Ted, Yes, I have read your exposé and I reached the very opposite conclusions. And both interpretations are based on the same texts of Mark. With one
                    Message 9 of 12 , Feb 23, 2002
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                      >
                      >
                      > Ted Weeden wrote in response to what:
                      >
                      >> Karel Hanhart wrote , January 29, 2002:
                      >
                      >>
                      >> Karel, while we agree on the approximate date of Mark, we hold quite
                      >> different
                      >> views with regard to the Markan provenance.
                      >> Again, I have developed a position which places the Markan community
                      >> in the
                      >> village region of Caesarea Philippi. I referred in my post to you
                      >> where that
                      >> position can be located, namely, in my essay, "Guidelines for
                      >> Locating the
                      >> Markan Community," Kata Markon (2/29/00); XTalk (2/29/00; Archives
                      >> #3913). I
                      >> interpret Mark as being a Galilean, or Galilean sympathizer, who is
                      >> strongly
                      >> anti-Judean. I do not mean *anti-Jewish.* Mark is opposed to the
                      >> cultic
                      >> ideology of Judean Judaism and its Temple establishment, as well, in
                      >> my view, as
                      >> the Jerusalem Church which has "sold out" under James and the
                      >> tradition of the
                      >> cohort of the Twelve to the Judean orientation.
                      >
                      Ted,

                      Yes, I have read your exposé and I reached the very opposite
                      conclusions. And both interpretations are based on the same texts of
                      Mark. With one distinct difference in approach. You believe Mark knew a
                      so-called Cross Gospel, which Crossan distilled from the second century
                      Gospel of Peter and which in the judgment of many is inauthentic.
                      (a) It is written in the "I" form. (I, Peter, saw...). To me, Crossan
                      circumvented the interpretation of Mark's opened tomb story by claiming
                      that Mark made use of this supposedly earlier Cross Gospel. In this
                      strongly anti-judaic Gospel of Peter (including the Cross Gospel -
                      distillate, Jesus is pictured as leaving the tomb accompanied by two
                      other figures in the face of guards. Judean bystanders bemoan the fact
                      that Jerusalem will be destroyed because of their sins. Does it not
                      appear to be a second century hotch-potch of themes taken from the
                      Synoptics and especially from John? (Compare the use of hoi ioudaioi)
                      To me Mark is (a) the John Mark of the Epistles and Acts, born and
                      raised in Jerusalem, {who must have mourned the fall of Jerusalem), the
                      interpreter of Peter. Hence both knew each other in Rome where Peter
                      died, as I Clement states.
                      (b) In Mark's haggadah, Simon Peter's confession is made just before
                      the scene on the Mount of Transfiguration. The confession is made at the
                      most Northern part of the Gospel's geography, from where Jesus' paschal
                      pilgrimage to Jerusalem begins. I believe Mark deliberately chose that
                      site because of its name Caesarea Philippi. It means the 'Imperial
                      Philippi'. Peter makes his confession in Caesar's territory, thus
                      foreshadowing his apostolic mission in the imperial city of Rome. But,
                      writes Mark, Peter also stood in Jesus' way; he first needed to learn to
                      follow Jesus on the "way" to the Cross. This exegesis is confirmed in
                      the Transfiguration scene, where Peter wants to build three tents and
                      remain on the mountain (of eternal bliss). The readers are thus prepared
                      by Mark to accept the period of suffering that will come (13,9). But
                      they ought to be able to accept sufferings in the future in the faith
                      and hope of resurrection (9,9).
                      (c) Mark's Passover Haggadah was written for the liturgical season of
                      Pesach and Shabuoth (the 50 days of Pentecost). The contrast of Galilee
                      and Judea - so evident in this Gospel - runs parallel, I believe, with
                      the Jewish festival calendar. The events in Jerusalem are set in the
                      context of Passover (Pesach), the opened tomb story on the First of the
                      fifty days of Pentecost (Shabuoth). The latter is a harvest festival.
                      Now as Papias already noted, Mark didn't follow the correct "order",
                      taxis of the Judean festivals. The Greek word taxis was also used for
                      the order in a religious festival. Papias' remark is relevant for the
                      entire structure of Mark, divided into a Galilean and Judean section.
                      Whereas the women see the vision of the opened tomb on the "first"
                      of the fifty days of Pentecost, the BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL deals with
                      the theme of harvest; in it the "harvest" of Jesus' preaching and deeds
                      is reaped in Galilee and beyond. The healings are performed among
                      Judeans and Gentiles.
                      This the arresting phenomenon is that the Gospel ENDS on a Sunday,
                      the first day of the harvest AND IT BEGINS on that same Sunday, the
                      "first day" (arche). The long speech in chpt 4 deals also with the theme
                      seed and harvest, while the long speech in chpt 13 deals with wars and
                      suffering prior to the passion story proper. "Arche" in 1,1 is also
                      related to the first day of creation, of course, remembered and
                      celebrated on the agricultural first day of Shabuoth.
                      A number of scholars have rightly suggested that the sudden ending
                      of his Gospel ("he goes before you into Galilee") induces the reader to
                      think back of what Jesus had accomplished in Galilee and therefore, look
                      forward with confidence what the risen Jesus will accomplish among
                      Judeans and Gentiles in the period of exile ahead.
                      So the structure of the Gospel tells me, that in Mark's Judea,
                      especially Jerusalem with its temple, is associated with the
                      foundational theme of Pesach (the paschal lamb and the exodus) and
                      Galilee is associated with the festival of Shabuot of the "first
                      fruits". The first astounding deeds of Jesus, illustrating his teaching
                      (1,27!) takes place "en tois sabbasin", that is during Shabuoth, the
                      seven Pentecostal weeks [not on the sabbath day]..

                      Ted Weeden wrote also:

                      I think Crossan does make it clear why CG and John depict Jesus dying
                      on Nisan 14 and Mark, Matthew and Luke on Nisan 15.. Since the
                      disciples did not know when Jesus was crucified (see my response below)
                      Crossan notes that, since

                      >> no one knew exactly when Jesus was crucified, the next best option
                      >> was to choose
                      >> a date during the Passover that had symbolic theological meaning
                      >

                      I find it difficult to believe that "the disciples did not know when
                      Jesus was crucified". This statement is not supported by any textual
                      data. Must I believe that the disciples were so uninterested that none
                      of them inquired what happened when their beloved teacher was executed
                      and on what day it happened? I rather take it that Pilate was shrewd
                      enough to have Jesus executed on the very day that the city was filled
                      with pilgrims attending the festival of Pesach. His false charge of a
                      supposed claim by Jesus to be "king of the Judeans" would have its
                      greatest impact on the population on Passover Day. All three synoptics
                      claim it was on Passover Day, Nisan 15. The Nisan 14 date of the Cross
                      Gospel was simply an echo of the Johannine dating. John as the last one
                      of the four wrote a "spiritual Gospel", meditating on the other three.
                      John wanted to focus on the theological theme that Jesus died as "the
                      Lamb of God", hence he altered the date to Nisan 14, the day on which
                      the paschal lamb ought to be slaughtered. In fact, his Gospel might be
                      termed a theological treatise on the teachings of the Synoptic Gospels.

                      >> . So the
                      >> "_Cross Gospel_ had Jesus crucified on the eve of the [Passover]
                      >> festival [Nisan
                      >> 14] primarily with an eye on Amos 8:9-10 according to which the
                      >> feast itself
                      >> would be turned into mourning. Mark, however, wanted a paschal
                      >> meal between
                      >> Jesus and the disciples and had, therefore, to place the Crucifixion
                      >> on the
                      >> Passover Day."
                      >
                      1 Cor 11,23ff shows that a paschal meal was held at a very early date.
                      Surely, this paschal meal was held in the le'l shime'rim , Passover
                      night following Nisan 14, introducing Passover Day It is not convincing
                      at all that Mark "wanted a paschal meal between Jesus and the disciples"
                      (you probably mean the flight of the disciples?), thus making up a date
                      of the crucifixion on Nisan 15.
                      Scholars believe that before the year 70 the old priestly calendar,
                      - with the First Day of Pentecost always falling on a Sunday -, was
                      changed in favor of the Pharisaic calendar, - the First Day was fixed on
                      Nisan 16, no matter what day of the week it would fall. In the synagogue
                      this new Pharisaic dating of Nisan 16 of the "First Day of the harvest"
                      is still followed, while the Christian Judeans insisted on the Sunday
                      after Pesach according to the commandment in Lv 23,15. So according to
                      Mark's narrative Jesus was buried on Nisan 16 (the Pharisaic date for
                      the beginning of the harvest) while the women see on the Sunday that the
                      stone was rolled away and hear the message that Jesus was raised on the
                      true First Day of the harvest (Shabuoth). Interestingly, harvest
                      terminology is used when the mystery of resurrection is discussed. As
                      Paul writes Jesus was raised "the first fruits of those who have died".

                      Ted also wrote

                      >> The most plausible series of historical events, as I reconstruct
                      >> what happened, is that Jesus conducted his anti-cultic demonstration
                      >> at the Temple during the Passover festival. For him
                      >> to have engaged in such a provocative act as that at Passover, with
                      >> Pilate
                      >> always hyper-sensitive at any suggestion of sedition--- to say
                      >> nothing of the
                      >> rage the Temple authorities must have had toward such an offense
                      >> against the
                      >> cultic system--- it is logical to assume that Jesus was arrested
                      >> immediately by
                      >> the Temple guard, turned over to the Romans and summarily executed,
                      >> without
                      >> trial or anything like it
                      >

                      Anyone can make a "plausble" reconstruction of what one thinks happened.
                      But the interpreter should start with the texts themselves. I find the
                      Nisan 15 date of the Synoptics more plausible, because Nisan 14 would
                      theologically speaking have been much more attractive for these early
                      authors. For Jesus' crucifixion was interpreted in terms of the paschal
                      lamb, when these lambs were slaughtered in the temple. However, these
                      authors stuck to the historical date of the public crucifixion on Nisan
                      15. Anyone who was the least bit interested in this public event , was
                      in the position to verify the accuracy of that date. John, the author f
                      the Fourth Gospel demonstrates to have highly theological reasons for
                      altering the date.
                      Sorry, for taking up so much space. But the issue of the argument is
                      important for the interpretation of Mark..

                      your Karel

                      >>
                      >
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