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Re: [Synoptic-L] Miracle stories haggadic midrash?

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 11/2/1999 5:33:23 PM Eastern Standard Time, K.Hanhart@net.HCC.nl writes:
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 6, 1999
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      In a message dated 11/2/1999 5:33:23 PM Eastern Standard Time,
      K.Hanhart@... writes:

      << Moreover, he [Bowman] too, didnot take C. Montefiore's observation (in
      1927!)that Mark referred in the burial story to LXX Isa 22,16. The expression
      "a
      tomb hewn out of the rock" is a hapax both in Tenach and in the LXX. In
      Greek the three words are almost identical. >>

      In itself, it does not seem more likely to me that this somewhat obscure OT
      echo in the Synoptic burial narrative was first made by Mark and then copied
      by Matthew. The reverse is prima facie more likely, especially since Matt's
      text is actually closer to the LXX of Is 22:16 (cf. the phrase en petra) and
      since Matt also has echoes of this same OT passage (Is 22:22-23) elsewhere
      (16:19), which he uses there in midrashic fashion, and with no Markan
      parallel.
      This type of midrashic writing is not what we find in the unique Markan
      material. Mark's unique parable in chapter 4, e.g., has its closest parallels
      in Greco-Roman literature (cf. Cic. De senectute XV).

      << The 'healing' of Legio sheds light on Jesus' radical teaching
      "to love even the enemy".>>

      I would love to see your work on this pericope. However, this sentence
      puzzles me, if it is intended to speak of the Markan version of this story.
      As I read the text, in Mark, the name "legio" really applies to the
      possessing demons "for we are many" (and cf. 5:15 ton daimonizomenon...ton
      eschekota ton legiona). It is in Luke's Gospel, which in my view preceded the
      Markan version, that Legio seems to be the proper name of the MAN (because of
      the possessing demons), who also, differently from in Matt, addresses Jesus
      by his proper name. Luke also has transformed the story into a salvation
      narrative (cf. Lk 8:36) in accordance with Jesus' name which he has
      introduced. As in the great OT salvation-narrative, the enemy has perished,
      by riding animals (in this case pigs) into the water.

      Leonard Maluf
    • K. Hanhart
      ... 1. This was originally also my first reaction. I asked myself why would a Jewish scholar like Montefiore refer his readers to this passage adding LXX Isa
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 9, 1999
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        Maluflen@... wrote:
        >
        > In a message dated 11/2/1999 5:33:23 PM Eastern Standard Time,
        > K.Hanhart@... writes:
        >
        > << Moreover, he [Bowman] too, didnot take C. Montefiore's observation (in
        > 1927!)that Mark referred in the burial story to LXX Isa 22,16. The expression
        > "a tomb hewn out of the rock" is a hapax both in Tenach and in the LXX. In
        > Greek the three words are almost identical. >>
        >
        > In itself, it does not seem more likely to me that this somewhat obscure OT
        > echo in the Synoptic burial narrative was first made by Mark and then copied
        > by Matthew. The reverse is prima facie more likely.

        1. This was originally also my first reaction. I asked myself why would
        a Jewish scholar like Montefiore refer his readers to this passage
        adding LXX Isa 33,16. So I studied Jewish literature in order to
        discover why. I am now convinced that Mark didnot use the normal Greek
        word for a military tribune 'chiliarchos' on purpose, but used the Latin
        name of the army itself. If a demoniac gives his name as 'Legio', a
        Latin word spelled in Greek (5,9), any Galilean or any Jerusalmite
        would have thought of the boots of Roman soldiers amrching through
        their streets. This seems to me the proper historical context.

        As to Mark's reference to LXX Isa 22,16 I believe only one scholar, Ingo
        Broer (1972), took up the challenge of Montefiore. But in my opinion he
        failed to explain the citation adequately. I believe, no other
        interpreter took Montefiore seriously. Ça donne a penser!

        2. Isa 22,15-25 is not an obscure passage. It appears in the context of
        Jerusalem under threat. In my analysis of LXX Isa 22,15-25 (see also
        e.g. van der Kooij, Die alten Textzeuge des Jesajabuches) the author
        blames the temple official Somnas for Judea's distress and lauds Eljakim
        in stead. The monumental grave Somnas "wrote" in the rock ('egrapsen',
        'petra') is a metaphor for the imminent destruction of the Temple
        because of his "decree" issued in transgression of the Torah.
        Mark was the first one of the Gospel writers to meditate on this passage
        and compose his midrash(15,42-16,8) in which he pitted a certain Joseph
        (15,43) overagainst 'Peter' (16,7). It seems to me more reasonable that
        Mt in 16,18.19 builds on Mark's midrash than vice versa.

        >,... especially since Matt's text is actually closer to the LXX of Is 22:16 (cf. the phrase en petra) and
        > since Matt also has echoes of this same OT passage (Is 22:22-23) elsewhere
        > (16:19), which he uses there in midrashic fashion, and with no Markan
        > parallel.

        Matthew wrote for a wider audience. Mark wrote for his own ecclesia, I
        believe - Alexandria?, Rome?
        Matthew tends to improve on Mark's Greek and elaborates etc.

        > This type of midrashic writing is not what we find in the unique Markan material.>

        I obviously disagree. What are your arguments?

        I believe Jesus did teach in parables, some of which dealt with sowing -
        seed and harvest. Unfortunately we donot have Jesus' ipssissima verba;
        we must do with Greek versions of them in a particular redactional
        setting. But Jesus surely didnot cite Cicero! Neither did Mark as you
        suggest:

        > Mark's unique parable in chapter 4, e.g., has its closest parallels in Graeco-Roman literature (cf. Cic. De > senectute XV).

        << The 'healing' of Legio sheds light on Jesus' radical teaching "to
        love even the enemy".>>
        > I would love to see your work on this pericope. However, this sentence
        > puzzles me, if it is intended to speak of the Markan version of this story.

        I'm afraid my publisher would not agree if I rewrite my book. But let
        this suffice. John Mark was a 'Judean'
        (a 1-st century "ioudaios"), a Jerusalemite, who went to Rome and became
        Simon's "interpreter" (Papias). He had quarreled with Paul but later
        adopted his views, set out in Rom 9-11, a letter Paul had sent to "the
        Romans" (musterion Mk 4,11 = Rm 11,25).

        In his post-70 Passover Haggadah, to be read in the ecclesia during
        Passover, Like other Judean writings of the time Mark also reflects the
        major polarization [Judea versus Rome] of his days. Few 'sons of the
        covenant' (except perhaps a Quisling like Josephus) would have had
        friendly feelings toward the Roman legions after Jerusalem had been run
        over and Titus' triumphal chariot had entered the Forum followed by the
        defeated Judean rebels.

        > As I read the text, in Mark, the name "legio" really applies to the
        > possessing demons "for we are many" (and cf. 5:15 ton daimonizomenon...ton
        > eschekota ton legiona). It is in Luke's Gospel, which in my view preceded the
        > Markan version, that Legio seems to be the proper name of the MAN (because of
        > the possessing demons), who also, differently from in Matt, addresses Jesus
        > by his proper name. Luke also has transformed the story into a salvation
        > narrative (cf. Lk 8:36) in accordance with Jesus' name which he has
        > introduced.

        I agree; Luke uses material older than Mark's use of them. But Luke, -
        writing (unlike Mark and Matthew) with caution avoiding midrashic
        obscurities and overt hints aimed at the Roman enemy -, simply offers a
        bland but still ambiguous explanation for the name Legion ("for we are
        many").

        From Mark 11,1 on, the destruction of the temple in 70 looms large over
        the Passion story. With near unmitigated clarity he refers to it in
        11,17 (spelaion leistoon!), 13,2, 14,58, 15,29, and 15,38. It would be
        strange if Mark in 15,46 would NOT have referred to Isa 22,16.
        But it appears to me that exegetes from Tsechya, Denamrk or Norway or
        interpreters from S. Africa or Latin America might be more open to this
        historical setting of Mark's Gospel with its message of hope for those
        in despair than interpreters from nations that have not experienced
        occupation by hostile forces. An exegete must try to walk in the
        mocassins of a first century Judean, using a native American saying. The
        beloved city had been run over by pagans who worshiped the emperor (at
        least in the Oriental provinces of the empire) like a son of god.

        The 'Legion' strand (as in 2,9; 5,9 cf 15,39) in Mark's tapestry is
        typically 'Christian' Judean. For a minor polarization had arisen in
        Judea around the urgent question (re. the major polarization of Judea
        versus Rome): How to deal with the Roman enemy (e.g. 'taxes Mk 12,13ff).
        Each group - Pharisees, followers of the Baptist, Essenes, Sadducees -
        took up its own stance. No doubt, some Zealots were found in each of
        these groups also among Christian Judeans. But followers of Jesus had
        taken up the stance of non-violent resistance, based on Jesus' teaching
        of non-violent resistance (as exemplified in the Sermon on the Mount).
        I take it that Simon may well have taught a story in Rome of Jesus'
        power to send the demons that tormented poor Legio, into the swine
        sothat they fell helter-skelter into the sea. Mark tells this story with
        a certain abandon.

        The answer has been too long. Karel Hanhart
      • Mark Goodacre
        I have uploaded a reproduction of my review of Jeffrey Tucker s _Example Stories: Perspectives on Four Parables in the Gospel of Luke_ (JSNTSup, 162;
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 10, 1999
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          I have uploaded a reproduction of my review of Jeffrey Tucker's _Example
          Stories: Perspectives on Four Parables in the Gospel of Luke_ (JSNTSup,
          162; Sheffield Academic Press 1998), _RRT_ 6 (1999), pp. 387-8 to my
          homepage at:

          http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre/tucker.htm

          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
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