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Re: [Synoptic-L] Narrative Structure of Mark

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  • Mark Goodacre
    ... Thanks for this. After reading the piece, I remain wary of chiastic theories of the Gospels for the following reasons: (1) The old problem that it is
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 9, 1999
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      On 8 Jul 99, at 21:36, Jeffrey Krantz wrote:

      > Mark, I believe has laid the gospel out in an extended "concentric
      > parallelism" (Joanna Dewey's term, though I've not seen her apply it
      > this
      > way) or chiasm that pairs segments of narrative throughout the text.

      Thanks for this. After reading the piece, I remain wary of chiastic
      theories of the Gospels for the following reasons:

      (1) The old problem that it is surprising that no-one has spotted this
      before and that, if so, Mark has failed in what he was attempting to do.

      (2) The parallels between Greek expressions are entirely what one
      would expect in taking any two sections from the Gospel at random.
      I once did a test not on a chiastic theory but on Aileen Guilding's
      lectionary theory of John (in Chapter 6 of my Oxford M.Phil. thesis)
      in which I took a random selection of passages and actually found
      more, not less, correspondences than she had in her carefully worked-
      out pattern, and this in spite of her claims that "This cannot be
      accidental" etc.

      (3) Michael Goulder once argued strongly for a chiastic structure in
      Luke's Central Section (1957?) with correspondences in the Greek
      etc. only to abandon the theory not long afterwards. This similarly
      reinforces the gut feeling that theories like this are pictures in the fire.

      (4) More specifically, I am concerned about the unevenness of the
      scheme here proposed. Sometimes one part of a pair follows on
      straight away from one part of another pair and sometimes there are
      large gaps left unaccounted for. Most clearly, there is a problem with
      ABC all covering just Mark 1.4-13 where C'B'A' is comprised of
      12.13-27, 15.33-39 and 16.1-8.

      (5) Similarly, some of the links are inevitably strained. For example,
      re. pair F:

      > Were their presences at the beginning and end of the gospel not enough
      > to tie them together as matching characters, the fact that the death
      > of one is mirrored by the reader's first encounter with the other
      > should suffice.

      I think that the parallel between "death" and "reader's first encounter"
      is not strong.

      (6) The theory requires one to accept that the earliest version of the
      Gospel = Secret Mark, a matter that is not of course consensus.

      Mark
      --------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
      Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
      New Testament Web Resources
      Mark Without Q
      Aseneth Home Page
    • Jim Deardorff
      ... Mark, Your points (2)-(6) to Jeffrey Krantz seemed very strong and sufficient. Hence it is your point (1) above I d like to discuss briefly. If there is a
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 9, 1999
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        At 10:55 AM 7/9/99 GMT, Mark Goodacre wrote:

        >Thanks for this. After reading the piece, I remain wary of chiastic
        >theories of the Gospels for the following reasons:
        >
        >(1) The old problem that it is surprising that no-one has spotted this
        >before and that, if so, Mark has failed in what he was attempting to do.

        Mark,

        Your points (2)-(6) to Jeffrey Krantz seemed very strong and sufficient.
        Hence it is your point (1) above I'd like to discuss briefly. If there is a
        very strong reason why past NT literature has not reported on what may seem
        to certain investigators to be an obvious point, then (1) does not hold.

        The example I have in mind is one of the arguments favoring Mark being
        secondary to Matthew: it was Matthew's anti-gentile statements that provided
        the chief impetus for AMk, in Rome, to write his gospel. In so doing, AMk
        not only removed these anti-gentile irritants, but retaliated in kind by
        portraying the Jewish disciples and friends of Jesus as being extra dumb,
        discourteous and fearful. This is nasty business that hardly any NT journal
        editor would want to have published in his journal, nor book publisher would
        wish to have pubished within his line of books. They would no more want this
        than the 19th-century theologians wanted to face up to the full implications
        of the Augustinian tradition; thus, primacy of Mark was much to be preferred.

        However, no such strong reason of theological commitment exists for NT
        scholarship to have avoided earlier reporting of Jeffrey Krantz's
        argumentation, so your point (1) may still be relevant there.

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