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Re: [Synoptic-L] Walking stick or Shepherd's staff : the priority of Mark

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  • John Lupia
    To all: Clinging to rigidity of thinking that the order of sayings or that a particular saying is unmovable to and in specific events in the Public Ministry of
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 3, 2005
      To all:

      Clinging to rigidity of thinking that the order of
      sayings or that a particular saying is unmovable to
      and in specific events in the Public Ministry of Jesus
      is why the Synoptic Problem is yet unsolved. This is a
      naïve journalist approach to texts that are not
      photojournalistic. The evangelists were more fluid
      than modern researchers allow. They could jumble
      things up since that is licit as long as the original
      meaning of what Jesus said is not lost, twisted,
      obscured or radically altered giving it an altogether
      different one. It is because of this fluidity that we
      have 4 Gospels with varying versions since each wrote
      to a specific historical situation in the Church
      addressing their own issues and served as
      clarifications of what some mistook the text to mean
      that was written by their predecessor. Unfortunately,
      to modern eyes and minds each appears in conflict and
      contradiction to the other and so we have the Synoptic
      Problem, a misinterpretation of the very nature of the
      Gospels and total darkness on how they were written.

      Mk, for example, jumbles things around in the sending
      out of the twelve with similar events and brings the
      synoptic reading into question to modern eyes
      producing the illusion that there are different takes
      on what Jesus actually said and did.

      Take for example, Mark 6:7 which like Mk 14:13 sends
      them out two by two and mirrors what LK 10:1; 24:13
      says about the seventy-two and the disciples on the
      road to Emmaus. Why Mk switches things around
      borrowing from one event that which occurred in
      another is only answerable in the situation of the
      Church when Mk wrote.

      Writing post Lk, Jn, and Mt we find Mk mention the
      apostles sent out two by two since this was the
      standard for witnesses as cited in Mt 18:16 and in
      rooted in ancient Jewish law in Jn 8:17; Apoc 11:3; 2
      Cor 13:1; 1 Tim 5:19; Heb 10:28; Mt 26:60. Moreover,
      Mt 18:19 points out the power of two in agreement; and
      again, the religious gathering of two or more in
      Jesus’ name assures them of Christ’s presence, in Mt
      18:20. In Lk 19:29//Mt 21:1//Mk 11:1 Jesus sends out
      two disciples, a phenomenon of practice attested to in
      the oldest Gospel of Luke in several places including
      his Acts 9:38; 19:22.

      So we need to ask is Mk contradicting Lk and Mt about
      this event or is he rather attempting to speak to the
      Church in his own time using a modus operandi in
      current use and not wanting to cite an original
      expression Jesus had historically made since there are
      always those in the crowd who reject their
      institutions current practices, thinking to themselves
      that they are wiser or better and out of vanity and
      egotism would prefer to deviate by justifying their
      behavior that this is what Jesus originally and
      historically said and had his apostles do. In other
      words, Mk appealed to his hearers and readers to abide
      by current Church standards since Jesus sanctioned it
      and thus avoided confusing anyone or tempting anyone
      to deviate from the present course of action. This
      tells us that the Church had gained wisdom in
      carefully wording things in each successive Gospel
      since the earlier Gospels were greatly and widely
      misinterpreted resulting in factions and dissentions
      disrupting the harmony and order established in the
      Church. Herein lies the crux to the so-called Synoptic
      Problem. This is why we find each successive Gospel
      restating things to fine tune and focus the meaning
      and avoid misinterpretation and factions.

      Another example in this same narrative has Mt 10:10
      “no sandals” borrow from Lk 10:5. Why? Perhaps Mt was
      shifting the nuance of meaning Lk 10:5 conveyed that
      the historical or symbolical time of year the event
      took place was during the Jewish liturgical calendar
      of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Lev.
      16:29,31; 23:27,29; Num. 29:7 "in the seventh month
      (Tishri), on the tenth day of the month, you shall
      afflict your souls" From this the tradition on Yom
      Kippur was to not wear sandals. On Yom Kippur those
      who were not able to go to Jerusalem spent the entire
      day in their local synagogues fasting. So the charge
      to take no staff, sandals, bread or money may have
      been a reference that Luke and Matthew’s Jewish
      audience would have understood without any need for a
      modern interpreter to point it out to them. Having the
      twelve go preach about Jesus for Yom Kippur has very
      obvious significance that Jesus is the only one who
      can take away the sins of human beings.

      Mark not writing predominantly to Jews in Rome but to
      Gentiles no longer sees the need to make the obscure
      references to Yom Kippur but restates things in terms
      Romans could have grasped while avoiding
      eccentricities that could lend themselves to
      misinterpretations and factions.

      Best regards,
      John N. Lupia, III

      John N. Lupia, III
      Beachwood, New Jersey 08722 USA
      Fax: (732) 349-3910
      God Bless America

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