[Synoptic-L] Temple Cleansing and the Cursing of the Fig Tree in Mk
- Donald Murphy wrote -
>I think Donald has mis-understood what I wrote on 1 June to this List,
>Brian, it seems to me, both admits to knowing nothing of this Markan
>scholarship of the sixties and seventies and, a fortiori, to yet later
>scholarship and, to counter it, simply uses an authority who apparently
>likewise manifests disappointingly little knowledge about it. I suspect
>that at least my better students through the years would see this as an
>ineffective appeal to authority.
and my contributions since. In my view the scholarly literature on Mark
is vast. I would hope that any scholar would hesitate to claim to have
read widely on Mark. I certainly do not make such a claim. I estimate
that it would take me about three years (at one hour per day) to read
intelligently those commentaries, articles and books (excluding those
which I have already read) which Morna Hooker lists in the "select
bibliography" in her commentary "The Gospel according to St Mark"
(London, 1991) - a work Donald has stated he has not read himself. And,
of course, Hooker's list is only a selection consisting, at my count, of
about 200 titles.
The "authority who apparently likewise manifests disappointingly little
knowledge about (Mark)" is presumably the late Robert A. Guelich to whom
I respectfully referred. His commentary (on the first half of Mark only)
lists 400 (on my counting) modern authors with references to their use
in the body of the commentary. If Guelich is disappointingly
unknowledgeable on Mark, then I can only say I would be very happy
indeed to be just as unknowledgeable as he was. Incidentally, Guelich
does not even include Ched Myers in his list of modern authors on Mark!!
How remiss!! Perhaps Guelich did not read as widely on Mark as Donald?!
Or perhaps he had a rather different idea of "authority"?!
To be positive, I have just read Francis Watson 'Toward a Literal
Reading of the Gospels' which is Chapter 7 in (ed) R. Bauckham, "The
Gospels for All Christians" (Cambridge, 1998).
The first section of Watson's chapter analyses 'Sitz im Leben' as a
*theological construct* in the redaction-critical approach of Marxsen,
and in the earlier form-critical approach of Bultmann, a construct which
Watson shows implies a "disjunction between history and Word". The
second section is entitled 'Against Allegorizing'.
To me, the interesting feature of the chapter is that it implies that
the redaction-critical approach of the past three decades has been
allegorical in its interpretation of the Gospels, that this is partly
because it assumes that each evangelist wrote for his own "community",
that such an assumption is false, and that "a future Gospels
scholarship" would be a new line of departure which would not need to
look for allegorical interpretations in the supposed "structure" of the
Gospels (for instance in the encircling of the Cleansing of the Temple
by the Cursing of the Fig Tree in Mark).
Watson ends with the words -
>I guess he feels an unease much like mine.
>To interpret the Gospels in abstraction from the truth-claim they
>everywhere pre-suppose and intend is a sign not of scholarly integrity
>but of a failure to reckon with the existence of these texts in their
>primary, literal sense.
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