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

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... From: Bob Schacht To: Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2002 10:35 PM Subject: Re: [XTalk] Thesis: Mark
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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
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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 5 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 6 of 12 , Feb 17, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                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 7 of 12 , Feb 23, 2002
                • 0 Attachment
                  >
                  >
                  > 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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