Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [John_Lit] Order in John

Expand Messages
  • Stephen C. Carlson
    ... Let me quote Papias s statement: 15 And the presbyter would say this: Mark, who was indeed Peter s interpreter, accurately wrote as much as he remembered,
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 7, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      At 09:10 AM 6/6/00 +0100, Ken Durkin wrote:
      >> ----- Original Message -----
      >> From: Stephen C. Carlson <scarlson@...>
      >> > For those who identify John Mark as the Fourth Evangelist, I would
      >> > like to know how they deal with Papias' testimony, because it is
      >> > that part that gives me the difficulties.
      >
      >I've given this more thought. Regarding Papias' testimony, I've never been
      >convinced that the Second Gospel has any special relationship to Peter.
      >K├╝mmel (Intro to NT) used to sum up my thoughts on this: "The tradition that
      >Mark was written by John Mark is therefore scarcely reliable." From the
      >extant words of Papias there is no reason to relate them to the Second
      >Gospel. We can conclude that there is a tradition that a companion of Peter
      >was a writer, and what he wrote was possibly in a different order from other
      >written traditions. The insistence that he neither heard the Lord nor
      >followed him is the part that gives me difficulties. Perhaps this is one way
      >of saying Mark was not an apostle.

      Let me quote Papias's statement:

      15 And the presbyter would say this: Mark, who was indeed Peter's
      interpreter, accurately wrote as much as he remembered, yet not in order,
      about that which was either said or did by the Lord. For he neither heard
      the Lord nor followed him, but later, as I said, Peter, who as necessary
      would make his teachings but not exactly an arrangement of the Lord's
      reports, so that Mark did not fail by writing certain things as he recalled.
      For he had one purpose, not to omit what he heard or falsify them.

      Could this statement refer to the Second Gospel? We may infer from
      Papias's three defenses of Mark, three characteristics of this gospel.

      1. Mark's lack of order was due to writing down Peter's disconnected
      anecdotes. This implies that the gospel was criticized for its order.
      I have just listened to the Second Gospel on tape, and my strongest
      impression is that the gospel is episodic without a strong narrative
      order, except for the occasional intercalation. Although I haven't
      listened to John on tape, my recollection is that its narrative flow
      is clearer (e.g. this is the first sign that Jesus did).

      2. Mark's purpose was not to omit what he heard. This defense implies
      that the gospel was criticized for missing material. The Second Gospel
      is the shortest of the four and arguably lacks a lot material Christians
      have found most interesting (e.g. Sermon on the Mount, resurrection
      appearances, etc.).

      3. Mark's purpose as not to falsify what he heard. This defense implies
      that the gospel was criticized for relating the same incidents differently.
      Although this charge could be laid at any of the synoptics because they
      share much material in common, the 4G has much less material in common
      with the others.

      Therefore, I find the best understanding of Papias's defense is a
      defense of the Second Gospel, which Papias' clearly associates with
      Mark. It is easy to fault Papias because it is equally hard to see
      how the Second Gospel is Petrine and therefore call into question
      this identification. However, if we look closely at the presbyter's
      statement, we notice that the presbyter only states that someone
      named Mark had been Peter's interpreter and wrote a gospel. There
      is nothing in the presbyter's statement that the relationship between
      Peter and Mark was close (in fact, it is not uncommon for ex-employee
      to be "disgruntled") nor that Mark wrote closely with Peter or even
      when Peter was still alive. Whether the subject matter of Mark came
      from Peter is merely an inference that Papias drew from the presbyter's
      statement and is difficult to credit. Interestingly, Papias does not
      even go far to express whether Peter was still alive when Mark wrote
      what "he" (Peter? Mark?) remembered. Thus, I find the supposition
      "that the Second Gospel has any special relationship to Peter" to be
      unsupported by Papias's testimony.

      What I conclude from Papias's testimony is that the tradition that
      Mark wrote the Second Gospel is early, extending as back to this
      presbyter, who flourished at least in the last decade of the first
      century. This presbyter was named John, and there is good reason
      to connect him first with 2, 3 John, then with 1 John, and finally
      with (the final form of) the 4G (see Hengel for the argument).

      Since the presbyter talks about Mark as if Mark was another person,
      it is difficult to identify John Mark as the same person as the
      Fourth Evangelist. Even Pierson Parker, who made a case for this
      identification, conceded he couldn't explain Papias's testimony.

      Stephen Carlson
      --
      Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
      Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
      "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
    • Ken Durkin
      ... From: Stephen C. Carlson To: Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2000 3:26 AM Subject: Re: [John_Lit]
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 8, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Stephen C. Carlson <scarlson@...>
        To: <johannine_literature@egroups.com>
        Sent: Thursday, June 08, 2000 3:26 AM
        Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Order in John


        And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter,
        wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in
        exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither
        heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he
        accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of
        his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the
        Lord's sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things
        as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit
        anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the
        statements. [From http://www.newadvent.org/fathers ]

        We have to be careful that the discussion is about 4G and not 2G, but it is
        relevant since we are looking at John Mark as the authority behind 4G and
        tradition has linked him to 2G. I note your reasons. I see it differently.

        "Not to omit anything he had heard" indicates the inclusion of material
        which is different and disputed.

        "not to put anything fictitious into statements" in relation to "narrative
        of the Lord's sayings" indicates long discourses of Jesus.

        "not in exact order" indicates a different order from the accepted order,
        and I cannot help but think accepted order is Synoptic order.

        Papias is making excuses for Mark's written testimony being different from
        the accepted pattern, and he explains this by saying he neither heard nor
        followed the Lord.

        <the Second Gospel, which Papias' clearly associates with
        Mark>

        If all we had were the words of Papias to identify authority behind one of
        the four gospels, there is nothing to suggest a clear link with 2G.

        Ken Durkin
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.