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(Fwd) Re: [Synoptic-L] Mark as catechetical gospel?

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  • Mark Matson
    Forwarded message: From: Self To: Jeffrey Krantz Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Mark as catechetical gospel? Reply-to:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9, 1999
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      Forwarded message:
      From: Self <mmatson>
      To: Jeffrey Krantz <jkrantz@...>
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Mark as catechetical gospel?
      Reply-to: mmatson@...
      Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 11:52:00

      Jeffrey Krantz wrote:

      > Whether or not one accepts a structure for Mark that intentionally
      > centers itself on Jesus' self identification as the crucified one, it
      > seems widely accepted that the gospel is chiefly concerned with that
      > question of the identity of Jesus.
      >
      > I have long thought, especially in light of the probability of the
      > existence of Secret Mark (or so I read things...) that Mark's gospel may
      > have been written almost entirely with the catechumen in mind. The
      > whole text seems to confront the reader/hearer with the question, "Who
      > do you say that I am?" That there might have been versions for those
      > not yet initiated in the "mystery of the Kingdom" (4:11) and for those
      > who *had* been initiated (SMark) seems to support this.
      >
      I am not as convinced that there really was a Secret Mark early on.
      But just dealing with the gospel of Mark, I wonder if we can really
      say that it was intended for catechumens? If the issue is, as I
      suggested earlier, existential -- that is leading the reader to ask
      himself or herself the question of whether he or she was "good soil"
      or "rocky soil", this seems more a matter of an evangelistic text.
      For a catechumen I would imagine more focus on teachings (Matthew?)
      or liturgy (i.e. Luke's last supper)?

      So I guess the question is, does anyone else see the primary focus of
      Mark as the existential issue of whether one will acknowledge Jesus
      and follow him? What response does the author of Mark want from the
      reader?

      > And, given this possibility, I have been leaning more and more away from
      > the notion of Markan priority, as it makes sense of one of the most
      > vexing questions that other theories have to answer, "Why would Mark
      > leave so much out?" If in fact Mark knew of, say, Matthew, but were
      > primarily interested in catechesis of the uninitiated, then the omission
      > of much of the paranetic material in Mt and Lk becomes intelligible.
      >
      If the text is more evangelistic than catechetical, wouldn't this
      better explain the brevity of Mark vs. Matthew?

      Mark Matson
      Mark A. Matson, Ph.D.
      Asst. Director, Sanford Institute of Public Policy
      Adjunct Professor of New Testament
      Duke University
      Durham, NC 27713
      (919) 613-7310
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