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Re: [Synoptic-L] Mk 1,1

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  • Sakari H�kkinen
    Dear friends, thank you for your answers. I noticed from the three first mails that the issue is far from solved. That is what I was looking for. Jeff, ... any
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 3, 1999
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      Dear friends,
      thank you for your answers. I noticed from the three first
      mails that the issue is far from solved. That is what I was
      looking for.

      Jeff,
      > Regarding the textual evidence for Mk 1:1, I am unaware of
      any ms
      > evidence for the omission of the entire verse. In other
      words, the theory
      > that Mk 1:1 is an interpolation is a purely literary,
      non-textual issue.
      Sorry, I did not consider the entire verse as an
      interpolation, just the words "Son of God".
      Thank you for the reference to Ehrman. His suggestion is
      convincing. This is something I have thought. However, I
      have noticed that there are quite many scholars who do
      consider the words original. IMO textual evidence is
      supporting an interpolation, because it is far more
      difficult to explain the omission of such important words.

      John,
      Thank you for your "just some thoughts". I see that you have
      studied the issue deeply. Your statement is similar to
      Scweitzer's, right? Do you know who was the first scholar to
      have read the two sentences as one? The interpretation makes
      sense to me, but it is not widely accepted. Nestle-Aland,
      27th, does not follow this reading, but the more
      "traditional" one.

      Jim,
      does "AH viewpoint" mean the hypothesis that GMt was the
      first written Gospel? Your suggestion that ARCH is meant to
      correct the beginning of GMt does not convince me. Nothing
      in the text supports that. If that were the case, shouldn't
      AMk give at least some clearer hints if not explying his
      critics to GMt?

      To begin a book of this type (new type?) ARCH is not a bad
      first word at all. Genesis begins in LXX by the words EN
      ARCH (like the 4th Gospel). The style of AMk might be here
      more intentional than sometimes has been thought. The word
      ARCH leads the reader/listener to think of the work of God,
      something extraordinary.

      Yours,

      Sakari Hakkinen
      University of Helsinki
      Department of Biblical Studies
      sakari.hakkinen@...
      http://www.helsinki.fi/teol/hyel/henkilo/henkilo.html
    • Brian E. Wilson
      Sakari Hkkinen of the University of Helsinki wrote - ... Greetings, Sakari. What an interesting question! I expect to be at the SBL International Meeting in
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 3, 1999
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        Sakari Hkkinen of the University of Helsinki wrote -
        >
        >I have some questions concerning the first verse of Mk 1.1.
        >What does the writer mean by ARXH? Does it simply mean
        >the beginning of the book? In that case he would have called
        >his book a Gospel (EUAGGELION) of Jesus Christ. Or is the
        >book only a beginning of the gospel?
        >
        Greetings, Sakari.

        What an interesting question! I expect to be at the SBL International
        Meeting in Helsinki before many days. My tentative thoughts on the
        fascinating point you raise here are as follows -

        The word ARXH can mean "origin" or "explanation of" or "principle of".
        W. Marxsen considers that ARXH should be understood as "origin" (or even
        "principle"), echoing the opening words of LXX Genesis 1.1 - EN ARXH...
        .

        I would suggest that Mk 1.1 is to be understood as "The ORIGIN of the
        good news of Jesus Christ". That is to say, the author of Mark knows
        that he is producing a book to be read by (and to) Christians - people
        who have already accepted the EUAGGELION. They already believe in Jesus
        as the Christ sent by God and crucified and risen for them in the
        purposes of God. They already belong to the people of the way who follow
        Jesus the Christ of God. But such believers would have wanted to know
        more about Jesus before he was crucified. What was he like? What did he
        do? Where did he go? Who was this Jesus who had been crucified? Why did
        the authorities want him put away? What did he teach about God? What did
        he say in his prayers? What were his attitudes to marriage? What did he
        expect of his disciples? And so on, and so on. So Mark could have meant
        in Mk 1.1, to answer the question of Christian believers - "Where did
        the good news of Jesus crucified and risen BEGIN?" "What is the ORIGIN
        of the EUAGGELLION of IHSOUS XRISTOS - the origin, that is, of the
        KHRYGMA which they had already heard and to which they had already
        responded in faith?" So, on this view, the contents of the book Mark
        wrote are the origin of the good news already proclaimed to his readers,
        and already accepted by them.

        On this understanding, of course, the word EUAGGELION in Mk 1.1 does not
        refer forwards to the book about to be written by Mark, but points
        backwards to the proclamation - KHRYGMA - of the good news of God at
        work through Jesus, - the proclamation which the readers had ALREADY
        accepted. I think it is quite likely that in the Gospel of Mark the word
        "EUAGGELION" nowhere refers to a written record, but always refers to
        oral proclamation. It was only later that the word "EUAGGELION" was
        given the secondary meaning of a written account of Jesus.

        On this view, also, Mark wrote his book not in order to set out the full
        EUAGGELION in writing, but to give a "historical" background to the
        EUAGGELION for his readers. C. F. D. Moule considered that the Synoptic
        Gospels were NOT intended to present the full Christology and the full
        Christian theology of their writers. He suggested that "it is more
        reasonable to assume that the Synoptic Gospels were intended to be
        ancilliary to, and only a part of, the full Christian kerygma." Maybe he
        was right. The synoptic gospels were perhaps produced as suitable
        packages of teaching material intended to give the historical BACKGROUND
        to the Christian KHRYGMA of Jesus crucified and risen in the purposes of
        God, and not to be an exposition of the full KHRYGMA itself.

        Best wishes,
        BRIAN WILSON

        E-MAIL: brian@... HOMEPAGE
        SNAILMAIL: Rev B. E. Wilson,
        10 York Close, Godmanchester, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
        Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK
      • Jim Deardorff
        ... Yes, AH stands for the Augustinian hypothesis. ... There are a lot of places in Mark where it shows dependence upon Matthew. Some of these are improvements
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 3, 1999
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          At 10:14 AM 7/3/99 +0300, Sakari Häkkinen wrote:
          >Dear friends,
          >thank you for your answers. I noticed from the three first
          >mails that the issue is far from solved. That is what I was
          >looking for. ...

          >Jim,
          >does "AH viewpoint" mean the hypothesis that GMt was the
          >first written Gospel?

          Yes, AH stands for the Augustinian hypothesis.

          >Your suggestion that ARCH is meant to
          >correct the beginning of GMt does not convince me. Nothing
          >in the text supports that.

          There are a lot of places in Mark where it shows dependence upon Matthew.
          Some of these are improvements over Matthew, some others are attempted
          improvements that weren't given careful consideration. Most of them show
          dependence in other ways.

          Mt 1:1 could obviously be improved, as AMt's book wasn't a genealogy. The
          genealogy was just the beginning of Matthew. So AMk can be seen as having
          improved upon Matthew here.

          >If that were the case, shouldn't
          >AMk give at least some clearer hints if not explying his
          >critics to GMt?

          There are many indications that AMk did not wish his gospel or EUAGGELION to
          appear to be dependent upon Matthew. So, AMk did not come out and say that
          his gospel depended upon Matthew. He made his gospel look quite different by
          being much shorter, writing it in Greek not Hebrew or Aramaic, adding many
          dualisms or redundancies, making it pro-gentile, etc. Thus one may keep
          one's eyes open for the clues or hints that this is what happened, and then
          one finds them.

          >To begin a book of this type (new type?) ARCH is not a bad
          >first word at all. Genesis begins in LXX by the words EN
          >ARCH (like the 4th Gospel). The style of AMk might be here
          >more intentional than sometimes has been thought.

          Yes, that's why it can be seen as an improvement over Matthew, from the AH
          viewpoint.

          Jim Deardorff
          Corvallis, Oregon
          E-mail: deardorj@...
          Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
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