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Re: Ending of Mark?

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  • Fr. Donald Murphy
    Dear Carl, What a joy to see you once again participating -- if not on Crosstalk -- on Synoptic-1! ... There are elements of the interpretation you summarize
    Message 1 of 21 , Jan 28, 1999
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      Dear Carl,

      What a joy to see you once again participating -- if not on Crosstalk -- on
      Synoptic-1!

      Carl W. Conrad wrote:

      > Julian Waterfield wrote:

      Julian:

      > Speaking of the young man... can he be linked with the naked young man of
      > 14:51f.? What explanations do people have of 14:51f.?

      Carl:

      > I'm a little hesitant to bring this up because I can't remember where I've seen
      > this idea (it's certainly not original with me and I'm not even sure that I buy
      > the hypothesis): that the NEANISKOS of 14:51 is the Marcan neophyte believer,
      > the disciple who takes seriously what Jesus says of his mission and of
      > discipleship in the 3-fold passion-prediction/teaching sequence of chapters
      > 8-10, who believes (as the original twelve never quite do believe) that Jesus
      > and disciples must be delivered up and perish before they can be saved in
      > resurrection, and that the SINDWN which he leaves behind as he escapes naked is
      > the SINDWN that Jesus leaves behind in the tomb as well. On this view the
      > challenge of the Marcan ending at 16:8 is to faith in the risen Jesus WITHOUT a
      > vision of the risen Jesus prior to the meeting in Galilee, which seems somehow,
      > symbolically, still to lie in the future, albeit for Mark's community, an
      > imminent future. These are elements in a fuller interpretation of the whole of
      > Mark's gospel which I can't pretend ability to expound; I only want to point to
      > a linkage between 16:1-8 and 14:51f. that has been made elsewhere. I'd
      > appreciate it if anyone knows where this view originated and where it is given
      > a more intelligible exposition.

      There are elements of the interpretation you summarize from memory that
      correspond to the interpretation given by Ched Myers in his Binding the Strong
      Man: A Political Reading of Mark's Story of Jesus (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis
      Books, 1988 -- on pp. 368-69 and 397-98. Can you remember having read this
      commentary?

      Myers's overall interpretation of Mark is the best I have found. Though it
      surprised me often -- and continues to do so, I have come to see that the
      seriousness of his combination of both a political and a literary (narrative
      analysis) approach unifies my understanding of all of Mark in ways I have found
      no one else to do.

      I discovered last spring on Crosstalk that some contributors, without carefully
      studying what Myers does throughout his commentary, are put off by his unabashed
      recognition of the contributions of Liberation Theologians to the understanding
      of Mark. For my part I rejoice to see that Myers both recognizes the value of
      much these theologican have done and carefully criticizes the lack of firm method
      on their part -- and then goes further to provide, with solid method, conclusions
      somewhat similar to the ones they intuitively reached.

      I prefer not to attempt to paraphrase an author with such carefully worked out
      interpretations. If there is interest, however, I will gladly transcribe for
      Synoptic-1 the parts of Myers's treatment of Mk 14:51f. and 16:1-8 that
      specifically deal with the neaniskos and the sindwn in both passages -- always
      with the caveat that these interpretations must be seen in their connections with
      his interpretations of every other passage in Mark..

      Peace!

      Don

      P.S. I still don't know a really effective way of making sure that certain
      persons on a list (in this case, Julian and Carl) will
      read a message while at the same time sending it to the whole list.
      Double-postings can be a headache, I know.
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