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Re: Jesus as Mathmetician

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  • mwgrondin
    ... Yes, on the face of it, 6:52 seems to support the view that the rebuke in the ship may have been occasioned by the failure/refusal of many Xians of Mark s
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 2 11:38 PM
      --- Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
      > To be honest, I am not certain how [6.52] fits. At some point
      > I will have to give the passage some attention.

      Yes, on the face of it, 6:52 seems to support the view that the
      rebuke in the ship may have been occasioned by the failure/refusal
      of many Xians of Mark's generation to accept the necessity of "a
      representative of Yahweh ... giving his life on behalf of,
      the "many"." An echo of martyrological debates? If so, Mark may
      have been reminding his readers of earlier days in which "the
      five" and "the seven" were "broken" to "feed the many". Not to say
      that I think this excludes your analysis. Is it possible that Mark
      may have (also?) been chiding the Jerusalem group for a refusal to
      send any of their own apostles to "the other side" other than a
      single "loaf" (Paul?) This would certainly explain his bitterness
      toward "the disciples", and perhaps also the rather schizophrenic
      nature of 8:14-21. (On the one hand, one loaf is enough, but on
      the other hand, don't be restricting the number of "loaves" you
      send to "the other side" for Pharisaic-type reasons.)

      [Stephen]:
      > 2. Is there anything outside of 8:14-21 that would indicate
      > that the disciples would be opposed to the extension of Israel's
      > salvation to the Gentiles? If not, why would Mark bring up
      > this issue in such an indirect and subtle manner?
      [Jeffrey]:
      > Is it subtle and indirect? The fact that Mark has Jesus use OT
      > apostasy language of the disciples that he has had Jesus used at
      > 4:11-12 of Pharisees and Herodians and all those opposed to what
      > he says and does, seems hardly subtle to me.

      But the language of 4:11-12 is significantly different. There,
      it's that those outside see but don't perceive, etc, whereas
      in 8:18 it's that the disciples don't see. Even in 8:17, Mark
      doesn't use the same words that he does in 4:12. This appears to
      be a different order of disapproval. In any case, the disapproval
      isn't subtle, but what you suggest they've done to earn that
      disapproval _is_.

      Regards,
      Mike
    • Frank McCoy
      ... From: Jeffrey B. Gibson To: Crosstalk2 Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 3:32 PM Subject: [XTalk] Jesus
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 4 8:04 AM
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Jeffrey B. Gibson" <jgibson000@...>
        To: "Crosstalk2" <crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 3:32 PM
        Subject: [XTalk] Jesus as Mathmetician


        > I have uploaded my article on the Rebuke of the
        Disciples in Mark
        > 8:14-21 (from JSNT 27 [1986] 31-47) to our files
        page. It may be
        > accessed through:
        >
        >
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crosstalk2/files/ReBuke%20of%20the%20Disciples
        .htm
        >
        > I will be very interested in hearing how those who
        have been
        > participating in the Jesus as mathematician thread
        react to all that I
        > say there.


        Dear Jeffrey Gibson:

        You give a well-reasoned discourse on this Markan
        narrative. I have a number of disagreements, but they
        regard judgment calls and, on each one, you might be
        right. I would have liked to know, though, why you
        apparently do not think that the specific numbers
        cited by Mark in this narrative (i.e., 5, 7, 12, 4,000
        and 5,000) have any special significance in and of
        themselves. I also would have liked to have known why
        you apparently do not think that there is any
        significance to there being two types of baskets.

        I think this is a key passage in your paper, "T'he
        reason for the disciples' 'forgetting' to take extra
        loaves is, therefore, to deny those not of Israel the
        'bread' which Jesus had previously demonstrated is
        theirs. And because of this, Jesus is made aware
        that, like 'those outside', his disciples have
        'hardened hearts' and do not 'see', 'hear',
        'perceive', or
        'understand' his ministry and its implications."

        If what you say in this passage is correct, then Mark
        7:24-30 perhaps helps us to understand the nature of
        the "bread" that the disciples want to deny to those
        not of Israel.

        In this passage, when a Syrophoenician woman who is
        Greek asks Jesus to free her daughter of an unclean
        spirit, he tells her, "Suffer first to be satisfied
        the children--for it isn't good to take the bread of
        children and cast (it) to dogs."

        His words, ISTM, allude to Solomon 16:20-21, "Instead
        whereof thou feddest Thine own people with angels'
        food, and didst send them from heaven bread prepared
        without their labour, able to content every man's
        delight, and agreeing to every taste. For Thy
        sustenance declared Thy sweetness into Thy children."
        (AV)

        So, I take it, in Jesus' statement, the "children" are
        God's children (i.e., the Jews), the "bread" is the
        heavenly bread, and the "dogs" are Gentiles.

        In this case, Jesus' statement has two elements to it.
        First, he lets the woman know, he has the heavenly
        bread or manna that can free her daughter of
        the unclean spirit. Second, he tells her, he
        hesitates to do this for a mere Gentile when he
        hasn't, as yet, given God's chosen people, the Jews,
        their fill of this heavenly bread.

        What is this heavenly bread that expels demons from
        human souls?

        An answer to this question is found in the teachings
        of Philo--where the logoi (words) of God are a type of
        heavenly bread. So, in L.A. iii (162), he states,
        "'Behold I rain upon you bread out of heaven, and the
        people shall go out and they shall gather the day's
        portion for the day, that I may prove them whether
        they will walk by My law of not' (Exod. xvi. 4). You
        see that the soul is fed not things of earth that
        decay, but with such logoi as God shall have poured
        like rain...".

        Further, as personified in the angels, these logoi can
        expel demons from human souls. So, in Som. i
        (148-149), Philo declares that "in the understandings
        of those who are still undergoing cleansing....there
        walk
        angels, divine logoi, making them bright and clean
        with the doctrines of all that is good and beautiful.
        It is quite manifest what troups of evil tenants are
        ejected, in order that One, the Good One, may enter
        and occupy."

        So, I suggest, in 7:24-30, Mark's Jesus believes that
        he can give humans a heavenly bread *that expels
        demons from human souls* because he believes himself
        to have the logoi of God that are a heavenly bread and
        that, as personified in the angels, can expel demons
        from human souls.

        Mark's narrative thusly continues, "But she answered,
        and says to him, 'Yea, Lord--for even the dogs under
        the table eat of the crumbs of the children.' And he
        said to her, 'Because of this logos (word) go--the
        demon has gone forth out of your daughter.'"

        The reason why she asks Jesus for a few "crumbs" of
        the heavenly bread, I suggest, is because, she knows,
        these "crumbs (i.e., individual words (logoi)" can, as
        personified in the angels, free her daughter of the
        demon.

        Ironically, though, I further suggest, what the woman,
        in effect, states (i.e., that the Gentiles, even
        though they are not God's chosen people, deserve to
        partake of the heavenly bread) is, itself, a divine
        logos (word) of God. Further, as personified in an
        angel, it has expelled the demon out of her daughter.
        This is why, ISTM, Jesus tells her that 'because (in
        the sense of "due to( the actions)"?) of this logos
        (word)...the demon has gone out of your daughter"
        rather than "I have sent this demon forth out of your
        daughter."

        Relevant to the discussion is Mark 8:35-38, which
        includes these phrases: (1) 35: "me and the Gospel",
        (2) 38a: "me and my logoi (words)", and (3) 38b: "He
        (i.e., the Son of Man)...the angels--the holy (ones)."

        I suggest that they are taken to be equivalent, so
        that: (1) me = me = Son of Man and (2) Gospel = my
        logoi = the angels.

        If so, then Mark's Jesus not only accepted the
        doctrine, taught by Philo, that the logoi (words) are
        personified in the angels, but also (and this
        goes beyond anything that Philo states in any of his
        surviving works) took these logoi, as a totality, to
        constitute the Gospel.

        This relates to 7:24-30, where, it appears, the
        heavenly bread is taken to be the logoi (words).
        Since these logoi (words) constitute the Gospel, this
        means that the heavenly bread is the Gospel.

        In this case, the lesson of 7:24-30 is this: one of
        the words of the heavenly bread of the Gospel is that
        the Gentiles, even though they aren't God's chosen
        people, yet deserve to hear this Gospel.

        Let us re-look at your statement, " T'he reason for
        the disciples' 'forgetting' to take extra loaves is,
        therefore, to deny those not of Israel the 'bread'
        which Jesus had previously demonstrated is theirs.
        And because of this, Jesus is made aware that, like
        'those outside', his disciples have 'hardened hearts'
        and do not 'see', 'hear', 'perceive', or 'understand'
        his ministry and its implications."

        I suggest that, for your phrase, "the 'bread'", we
        substitute, "the Gospel". In this case, if your
        analysis of 8:14-21 is reasonably accurate, then the
        grievous sin of the disciples is that they have
        refused to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.

        This might relate to Gal 2:7, where Paul states, "When
        they (i.e., the pillars) saw that I had been entrusted
        with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter
        had been entrusted with the gospel to the
        uncircumicised,..".

        Whatever else one wants to make of this statement, it
        appears to be based on a reality of Peter limiting his
        own preaching of the Gospel to the Jews. If so, then
        I think it likely, since he had been the head of the
        Twelve, that the rest of the surviving members of the
        original Twelve had imitated him and, so, had,
        likewise, limited their preaching of the Gospel to
        Jews.

        If Mark 8:14-21 relates to this, then the point that
        Mark tries to make in it is that Peter and the rest of
        the surviving members of the original Twelve, by not
        preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, showed a willful
        hardening of heart in that they refused to acknowledge
        what Jesus did acknowledge in his own words and deeds,
        i.e., the validity of the doctrine that the Gentiles,
        even though they are not God's chosen people, yet
        deserve to have the Gospel preached to them.

        In any event, I appreciate you placing your paper on
        the internet for reading. It's going to take a while
        for me to think through and evaluate it, but I already
        know that it is going to change my understanding of
        8:14-21 in several significant ways.

        Sincerely,

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


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