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[Synoptic-L] Kata Markon

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  • K. Hanhart
    Lectoribus salutem, Sometime ago Jeffrey Gibson invited List-members interested in scholarly exchange re. the Gospel of Mark to submit results of their
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 17, 2000
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      Lectoribus salutem,

      Sometime ago Jeffrey Gibson invited List-members interested in scholarly
      exchange re. the Gospel of Mark to submit results of their research in
      Mark. I would like to support the motion.
      Several times I wrote in Synoptic-L on a crux interpretum in GMark,
      ideas that werenot readily picked up, except by Maluflen. It seems to
      me that a possible cause of this silence was the fact that my exegesis
      of the open-tomb-story in Mark would only hold on the assumption of the
      priority of Mark and a post-70 date. However, also ideas submitted by
      others likewise die in the sands of the synoptic conundrum. For the
      synoptic problem is so complex depending on so many decisions on
      historical sequence and literary details that the discussion becomes at
      times somewhat tiresome and repetitious. Yet so much is at stake!
      This rotation in the discussion in Synoptic-L appears to become somewhat
      like the rotation of a kaleidoscope. Each participant approaches the
      synoptic problem through one setting of the kaleidoscope (in our case:
      2SH - 2GH - FGH - AH - JSH or LTH hypothesis. The various aspects of
      the problem are then juggled anew and appear in new sparkling colors
      through which we are invited to read the texts.
      But what if one pursues a particular exegetical problem at some length?
      The result may lead us out of the impasse.
      So I have followed, as stated before, Montefiore's suggestion, that
      Mark's expression a "tomb hewn from the rock" refers to LXX 22,16 and
      hence Mark's burial story may well be a midrash on that passage in
      Isaiah. He madse that suggestion in 1927 and thus far no one has picked
      it up! No doubt, the resurrection story is of foremost importance in
      Gospel interpretation. We havenot come much further than Craig's
      vigorous defence of the historicity of the empty tomb in NTS 34.1 (Jan
      1985). So I invite subscribers to follow the discussion in the list
      "Kata Markon" . I myself will follow the trail that Mark, while
      declaring and believing that Jesus was raised from the dead,
      nevertheless doesnot want to tell his readers about an historical
      discovery of an "empty" tomb. The "tomb hewn from the rock" appears to
      be a metaphor of the temple about to be destroyed. If this proves to be
      correct the post-70 date of canonical Mark can no longer be denied and
      the arguments for the priority of Mark become even more weighty.

      Karel Hanhart
      K.Hanhart@...
    • Maluflen@aol.com
      In a message dated 1/17/2000 2:37:58 PM Eastern Standard Time, K.Hanhart@net.HCC.nl writes:
      Message 2 of 15 , Jan 17, 2000
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        In a message dated 1/17/2000 2:37:58 PM Eastern Standard Time,
        K.Hanhart@... writes:

        << Lectoribus salutem,

        Sometime ago Jeffrey Gibson invited List-members interested in scholarly
        exchange re. the Gospel of Mark to submit results of their research in
        Mark. I would like to support the motion.
        Several times I wrote in Synoptic-L on a crux interpretum in GMark,
        ideas that werenot readily picked up, except by Maluflen. It seems to
        me that a possible cause of this silence was the fact that my exegesis
        of the open-tomb-story in Mark would only hold on the assumption of the
        priority of Mark and a post-70 date. However, also ideas submitted by
        others likewise die in the sands of the synoptic conundrum. For the
        synoptic problem is so complex depending on so many decisions on
        historical sequence and literary details that the discussion becomes at
        times somewhat tiresome and repetitious. Yet so much is at stake!
        This rotation in the discussion in Synoptic-L appears to become somewhat
        like the rotation of a kaleidoscope. Each participant approaches the
        synoptic problem through one setting of the kaleidoscope (in our case:
        2SH - 2GH - FGH - AH - JSH or LTH hypothesis. The various aspects of
        the problem are then juggled anew and appear in new sparkling colors
        through which we are invited to read the texts.
        But what if one pursues a particular exegetical problem at some length?
        The result may lead us out of the impasse.>>

        I strongly agree with this idea. I wish that individual, original suggestions
        and challenges were taken up more actively by list members. I think it could
        generate much more interesting discussions.

        << So I have followed, as stated before, Montefiore's suggestion, that
        Mark's expression a "tomb hewn from the rock" refers to LXX 22,16 and
        hence Mark's burial story may well be a midrash on that passage in
        Isaiah. He madse that suggestion in 1927 and thus far no one has picked
        it up! No doubt, the resurrection story is of foremost importance in
        Gospel interpretation. We havenot come much further than Craig's
        vigorous defence of the historicity of the empty tomb in NTS 34.1 (Jan
        1985). So I invite subscribers to follow the discussion in the list
        "Kata Markon" . I myself will follow the trail that Mark, while
        declaring and believing that Jesus was raised from the dead,
        nevertheless doesnot want to tell his readers about an historical
        discovery of an "empty" tomb. The "tomb hewn from the rock" appears to
        be a metaphor of the temple about to be destroyed. If this proves to be
        correct the post-70 date of canonical Mark can no longer be denied and
        the arguments for the priority of Mark become even more weighty.>>

        Just to remind people of my previous reaction to this idea:

        1. I think the connection with the Is 22 text is likely.

        2. It strikes me as far too subtle a point of Scripture scholarship to have
        originated with Mark.

        3. I would assume that it originated with Matthew, who elsewhere (Matt 16)
        shows an interest in this text, and who abounds with subtle biblical
        allusions in general, even where his material has no Markan parallel.

        4. The connection would therefore be an argument for Matthean priority, and
        the scriptural allusion was probably not understood by Mark any more than it
        is by modern commentators.

        5. Could K. say what he thinks the theological point of the passage might be
        if one assumes that it was written by Matthew, and before (or after) the year
        70?

        Leonard Maluf
      • Jeffrey B. Gibson
        ... For those who may not know, or who may have forgotten, the Kata Markon home page is http://metalab.unc.edu/GMark Yours, Jeffrey -- Jeffrey B. Gibson 7423
        Message 3 of 15 , Jan 17, 2000
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          "K. Hanhart" wrote:

          > Lectoribus salutem,
          >
          > Sometime ago Jeffrey Gibson invited List-members interested in scholarly
          > exchange re. the Gospel of Mark to submit results of their research in
          > Mark. I would like to support the motion.

          For those who may not know, or who may have forgotten, the Kata Markon home page is
          http://metalab.unc.edu/GMark

          Yours,

          Jeffrey
          --
          Jeffrey B. Gibson
          7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
          Chicago, Illinois 60626
          e-mail jgibson000@...
        • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
          ... Well, don t feel too badly rejected or ignored. I read your posts with interest but didn t respond since I have already published on the burial stories in
          Message 4 of 15 , Jan 17, 2000
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            At 08:34 PM 1/17/00 +0100, you wrote:

            >Several times I wrote in Synoptic-L on a crux interpretum in GMark,
            >ideas that werenot readily picked up, except by Maluflen. It seems to
            >me that a possible cause of this silence was the fact that my exegesis
            >of the open-tomb-story in Mark would only hold on the assumption of the
            >priority of Mark and a post-70 date.


            Well, don't feel too badly rejected or ignored. I read your posts with
            interest but didn't respond since I have already published on the burial
            stories in Matthew and Mark. I seem to be in agreement with you that Mark
            is post-70 but not in your view of the priority of Mark. A more fundamental
            disagreement between us would probably be over Mark as an author. In
            discussing this narrative I have argued that Mark frequently (and I include
            the account of the burial of Jesus here) seems not understand Jewish
            tradition and therefore, probably was a gentile who wrote for a gentile
            audience that was not very familiar with Judaism (this even if we
            acknowledge, as I do, the importance of Neusner's caution that we talk
            about "Judaisms" rather than "Judaism"). Many participants in Synoptic-L
            know my work and my views on the burial narrative and I didn't see any
            reason to repeat them. Rather, I thought I would see how you develop your
            views and whether they appear convincing. I did wonder, though, why in
            presenting your thesis (and referring to Montifiore) you made no mention of
            the scholars (and I am not the only one) or the evidence for the view that
            Mark does not understand Jewish tradition very well. This seemed to me
            counter-evidence that you chose not to include within the scope of the
            discussion. Those of us who find this evidence significant have little to
            contribute to a discussion in which that possibility receives no attention
            whatsoever.

            You mention that you have made a study of Jewish literature but do not
            elaborate. In presenting a somewhat different view of this pericope than
            yours I have specifically referred to traditions preserved in the Mishnah
            (Sabbath 23:5) and Talmud (Shemhot 8:1). I have had the benefit of some
            very interesting discussions of these texts, and how they should be
            understood, with Eric Meyers, Geza Vermes, Sam Sandmel, A.-J.
            Levine, Lamar Cope, David Peabody and many others - although they are not
            responsible for my interpretation of them, of course.

            While you are willing to accuse members of Synoptic-L of letting ideas "die
            in the sands of the synoptic conundrum" and compare the discussion on
            Synoptic-L to "the rotation of a kaleidoscope" you write extensively as
            follows: "...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." How does one respond to such
            rhetoric and nationalistic accusation? Do you offer such observations as
            supporting evidence for your interpretation? Some of us might have been
            more inclined to reply had you cited some of the relevant texts from Jewish
            literature and explored both the interpretations consistent with and
            problematic for your thesis. I did not want to engage, nor do I now, in a
            discussion of whether the citizens of some countries are better qualified
            exegetes than others.

            I might respond by asking how early you think emperor worship was
            effectively present in Roman Palestine. There seems to be some evidence
            that, honoring earlier treaties, some of the religious demands of Rome were
            moderated in Palestine. Turning specifically to the matter of emperor
            worship: Tiberius seems explicitly to have rejected the idea, insisting
            that the person of the emperor should be subordinate to the princeps.
            Caligula divinized Tiberius after his death and seems to have thought of
            himself as divine (perhaps even claiming to be Jupiter) but this view may
            well have been one of the factors leading to his assassination. The view
            that he was divine did not prevent that assassination. Even Claudius, who
            was later deified by an act of the Roman senate, wrote a letter when he
            took the throne in 41, telling the people of Alexandria: "I deprecate
            the appointment of a high priest to me, and the erection
            of temples, for I do not wish to be offensive to my contemporaries
            and I hold that such honors and the like have by all ages been attributed
            to the immortal gods as peculiar honors." It is true that later in his
            reign Claudius seems to have permitted such worship, limited in scope and
            perhaps as an attempt to solidify some parts of the empire, but this is
            not evidence of "pagans who worshiped the emperor...like a son of god."
            Similarly, Vespasian and Titus seem to have been deified after their
            deaths. It is not until Domitian (if then) that we have a clear demand for
            the worship of a living emperor. In fact, as late as 79, on the eve of his
            death, Vespasian could even joke about the practice of declaring some
            emperors gods after their deaths with the remark, "Woe is me. I think I'm
            turning into a god." Indeed, if there is emperor worship and if it is most
            commonly found in the East (does this necessarily include Palestine?), how
            does this become a primary concern for an author who writes explicitly for
            a congregation in Rome where such emperor worship as there is still seems
            to be more a formality than an example of "paganism?"

            I am guilty of being one of those who did not pick up your contribution for
            further discussion. I have tried to explain some of the reasons for that
            above. I find it difficult to deal with rhetoric rather than evidence. A
            second reason was that your contribution seemed to be, to use your own
            description, another instance in which "each participant approaches the
            synoptic problem through one setting of the kaleidoscope." In this case you
            seemed to be advocating the view that the author of the Gospel of Mark was
            "John Mark, ... a 'Judean' (a 1-st century "ioudaios"), a Jerusalemite,
            who went to Rome and became Simon's "interpreter" (Papias)." Since I do not
            find this a likely scenario the thread was not one that I wanted to pursue.

            I think that there are substantive issues here - and evidence upon which we
            can base our discussion.






            Dr. Thomas R. W. Longstaff
            Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
            Director, African-American Studies Program
            Colby College
            4643 Mayflower Hill
            Waterville, ME 04901-8846
            Email: t_longst@...
            Office phone: 207 872-3150
            FAX: 207 872-3802
          • Stephen C. Carlson
            ... Based on your message, I have gone back and reviewed the previous discussion. I would offer the following points for your consideration: 1. Your messages
            Message 5 of 15 , Jan 17, 2000
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              At 08:34 PM 1/17/00 +0100, K. Hanhart wrote:
              >Several times I wrote in Synoptic-L on a crux interpretum in GMark,
              >ideas that werenot readily picked up, except by Maluflen. It seems to
              >me that a possible cause of this silence was the fact that my exegesis
              >of the open-tomb-story in Mark would only hold on the assumption of the
              >priority of Mark and a post-70 date. However, also ideas submitted by
              >others likewise die in the sands of the synoptic conundrum. For the
              >synoptic problem is so complex depending on so many decisions on
              >historical sequence and literary details that the discussion becomes at
              >times somewhat tiresome and repetitious. Yet so much is at stake!
              >This rotation in the discussion in Synoptic-L appears to become somewhat
              >like the rotation of a kaleidoscope. Each participant approaches the
              >synoptic problem through one setting of the kaleidoscope (in our case:
              >2SH - 2GH - FGH - AH - JSH or LTH hypothesis. The various aspects of
              >the problem are then juggled anew and appear in new sparkling colors
              >through which we are invited to read the texts.
              > But what if one pursues a particular exegetical problem at some length?
              >The result may lead us out of the impasse.

              Based on your message, I have gone back and reviewed the previous
              discussion. I would offer the following points for your consideration:

              1. Your messages appeared in December 1998. Since then, the scope
              of Synoptic-L has been expanded from the synoptic problem to any
              questions of exegesis relating to the synoptic problem. Therefore,
              your questions are even more relevant than ever before to Synoptic-L.

              2. Yes, it is frustrating to involve oneself in a tough question of
              exegesis and never really get a chance to answer it because one is
              forced to defend Markan priority instead of your exegesis. In this
              situation, I would explicitly ask for all responses to assume Markan
              priority. This is a reasonable request, and one I hope participants
              would respect.

              3. My impression of the previous debate was that it was fairly active
              and informative, mostly between yourself and Leonard Maluf. Please
              recognize that it is very common in on-line discussions, such as
              Synoptic-L and Kata Markon, for the discussion to condense down to
              only two or three active participants. The nature of this medium
              discourages people from making redundant comments, and if one person
              is doing a fine job of raising up the issues, most people would
              perfer to follow along rather add points of minor importance.

              4. As far as the substance of your remarks,

              >The "tomb hewn from the rock" appears to
              >be a metaphor of the temple about to be destroyed. If this proves to be
              >correct the post-70 date of canonical Mark can no longer be denied and
              >the arguments for the priority of Mark become even more weighty.

              I'm not convinced that the "tomb hewn from a rock" excludes a time frame
              around 68, favored by many commentators based on Mark 13.

              Stephen Carlson
              --
              Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
              Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
              "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
            • Stephen C. Carlson
              ... Let s make that any question of exegesis relating to the synoptic gospels. Stephen Carlson -- Stephen C. Carlson
              Message 6 of 15 , Jan 17, 2000
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                At 11:56 PM 1/17/00 -0500, Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                >1. Your messages appeared in December 1998. Since then, the scope
                >of Synoptic-L has been expanded from the synoptic problem to any
                >questions of exegesis relating to the synoptic problem. Therefore,
                >your questions are even more relevant than ever before to Synoptic-L.

                Let's make that "any question of exegesis relating to the synoptic
                gospels."

                Stephen Carlson
                --
                Stephen C. Carlson mailto:scarlson@...
                Synoptic Problem Home Page http://www.mindspring.com/~scarlson/synopt/
                "Poetry speaks of aspirations, and songs chant the words." Shujing 2.35
              • K. Hanhart
                ... Isn t this putting the horse behind the cart? Isn t this list devoted to explore the synoptic problem assuming that the Synoptics are literarily dependent
                Message 7 of 15 , Jan 18, 2000
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                  Stephen C. Carlson wrote:
                  >
                  > At 08:34 PM 1/17/00 +0100, K. Hanhart wrote:
                  > >Several times I wrote in Synoptic-L on a crux interpretum in GMark,
                  > >ideas that werenot readily picked up, except by Maluflen. It seems to
                  > >me that a possible cause of this silence was the fact that my exegesis
                  > >of the open-tomb-story in Mark would only hold on the assumption of the
                  > >priority of Mark and a post-70 date. However, also ideas submitted by
                  > >others likewise die in the sands of the synoptic conundrum.

                  > Based on your message, I have gone back and reviewed the previous
                  > discussion. I would offer the following points for your consideration:
                  >
                  > 1. Your messages appeared in December 1998. Since then, the scope
                  > of Synoptic-L has been expanded from the synoptic problem to any
                  > questions of exegesis relating to the synoptic problem. Therefore,
                  > your questions are even more relevant than ever before to Synoptic-L.
                  >
                  > 2. Yes, it is frustrating to involve oneself in a tough question of
                  > exegesis and never really get a chance to answer it because one is
                  > forced to defend Markan priority instead of your exegesis. In this
                  > situation, I would explicitly ask for all responses to assume Markan
                  > priority. This is a reasonable request, and one I hope participants
                  > would respect.

                  Isn't this putting the horse behind the cart? Isn't this list devoted to
                  explore the synoptic problem assuming that the 'Synoptics are literarily
                  dependent upon one another' yet 'differ strikingly from one another in
                  content and form (Kuemmel). In my view "Kata Markon" should be
                  subservient to Synoptic-L.
                  > 3. My impression of the previous debate was that it was fairly
                  active
                  > and informative, mostly between yourself and Leonard Maluf. Please
                  > recognize that it is very common in on-line discussions, such as
                  > Synoptic-L and Kata Markon, for the discussion to condense down to
                  > only two or three active participants. The nature of this medium
                  > discourages people from making redundant comments, and if one person
                  > is doing a fine job of raising up the issues, most people would
                  > perfer to follow along rather add points of minor importance.
                  I agree with your point of redundancy. Typically 'Markan' issues
                  deserve treatment in a separate list like Kata Markon. However, since
                  results booked in the discussion of such issues have a direct bearing on
                  the synoptic problem, participants of Synoptic-L would benefit by them.
                  Would it help if short summaries of contributions to 'Kata Markon'
                  having a direct bearing on the synoptic problem, appear in this list? I
                  for one wouldnot want to abandon this list focussing on the synoptic
                  problem. In fact, I believe the Gospel of John should be studied
                  synoptically as such. However, students of GJohn would agree that John
                  especially deserves treatment in a separate, subservient list to the
                  synoptic problem.
                  > 4. As far as the substance of your remarks,
                  > >The "tomb hewn from the rock" appears to
                  > >be a metaphor of the temple about to be destroyed. If this proves to be
                  > >correct the post-70 date of canonical Mark can no longer be denied and
                  > >the arguments for the priority of Mark become even more weighty.
                  >
                  > I'm not convinced that the "tomb hewn from a rock" excludes a time frame
                  > around 68, favored by many commentators based on Mark 13.

                  Quod est demonstrandum

                  with kind regards Karel Hanhart
                • K. Hanhart
                  ... I don t. I simply maintain that Kata Markon is a better channel for continuing this particular discussion but that List should be subservient to
                  Message 8 of 15 , Jan 18, 2000
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                    Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote:
                    >
                    > At 08:34 PM 1/17/00 +0100, you wrote:
                    >
                    > >Several times I wrote in Synoptic-L on a crux interpretum in GMark,
                    > >ideas that werenot readily picked up, except by Maluflen.

                    > Well, don't feel too badly rejected or ignored.

                    I don't. I simply maintain that Kata Markon is a better channel for
                    continuing this particular discussion but that List should be
                    subservient to Synoptic-L.

                    >I read your posts with
                    > interest but didn't respond since I have already published on the burial
                    > stories in Matthew and Mark.

                    I did study your searching article in NTS 27.2 "the women at the tomb"
                    in Matthew in which you stated there may be "pre-Matthean traditions
                    behind these [Matthean] stories - a point which might be debated -....".
                    Markan priority is precisely what I wish to be debated in view of the
                    burial stories. I would like to know your own work on the burial story
                    in Mark. I would be much obliged if you would indicate where it was
                    published.
                    >I seem to be in agreement with you that Mark
                    > is post-70 but not in your view of the priority of Mark. A more fundamental
                    > disagreement between us would probably be over Mark as an author. In
                    > discussing this narrative I have argued that Mark frequently (and I include
                    > the account of the burial of Jesus here) seems not understand Jewish
                    > tradition and therefore, probably was a gentile who wrote for a gentile audience

                    I believe one must first of all follow the oldest tradition that John
                    Mark was the same as the Jerusalemite mentioned in Acts 12,12 (cmp 1 Pt
                    5,13). Only after it has been established beyond reasonable doubt that
                    the oldest traditions err, should we abandon their testimony (after all
                    it is the only contemporay external evidence we have). Must the
                    Tuebinger School have the final word in questions re. authorship?

                    > Many participants in Synoptic-L
                    > know my work and my views on the burial narrative and I didn't see any
                    > reason to repeat them. Rather, I thought I would see how you develop your
                    > views and whether they appear convincing.
                    > I did wonder, though, why in
                    > presenting your thesis (and referring to Montifiore) you made no mention of
                    > the scholars (and I am not the only one) or the evidence for the view that
                    > Mark does not understand Jewish tradition very well.

                    In a previous contribution to Synoptic-L I mentioned my book (Liturgical
                    Press) in which I pursued my thesis in extenso including the tantalizing
                    question whether Mark understood Jewish tradition. See e.g. my
                    discussion re. "the first day" [of Shabuot].
                    >You mention that you have made a study of Jewish literature but do not
                    > elaborate. In presenting a somewhat different view of this pericope than
                    > yours I have specifically referred to traditions preserved in the Mishnah
                    > (Sabbath 23:5) and Talmud (Shemhot 8:1). I have had the benefit of some
                    > very interesting discussions of these texts, and how they should be
                    > understood, with Eric Meyers, Geza Vermes, Sam Sandmel, A.-J.
                    > Levine, Lamar Cope, David Peabody and many others

                    I do hope debates in Synoptic-L will not be decided by the mere number
                    of Jewish scholars cited. We would do Jewish scholarship a disservice. I
                    am convinced that dialogue with Jewish scholars is essential for
                    progress in NT studies. Jews have reasons all their own for deciphering
                    developments in their history of the first century of the Common Era.

                    > you write extensively as
                    > follows: "...it appears to me that exegetes from Tsechnya, Denmark 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.

                    I might illustrate the point by a remark made by a well known author on
                    Mark. Asked in a Seminar whether his commentary had been published, he
                    answered that he had finished his book except for one footnote to Mk
                    13,14. He hadnot decided as yet (!) whether Mark was written before of
                    after the fall of Jerusalem!

                    > Their 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."

                    I simply maintain that sociological and psychological arguments re. the
                    state of mind of citizens appalled by the disaster of the fall of their
                    capital city who expressed their convictions in apocalyptic language is
                    relevant to the interpretation of Mark written during or after the war
                    with Rome. It can hardly be denied that a papyrus about someone, named
                    'rex iudaiorum' and crucified under a Roman governor must have been
                    written with due caution in "the language of the persecuted" (Leo
                    Strauss).

                    > I might respond by asking how early you think emperor worship was
                    > effectively present in Roman Palestine.

                    Most scholars would agree that Mark was not written in "Roman
                    Palestine".

                    > I find it difficult to deal with rhetoric rather than evidence.

                    My 'evidence' that Mark was someone born in Jerusalem is based on the
                    oldest external witnesses we know. It must be backed up by internal
                    evidence, of course, and that is what I attempt to do.

                    with kind regards,

                    Karel Hanhart
                  • John C. Poirier
                    I think that one of the key points of discussion concerning your interpretation of Mark, and one that may be appropriate to discuss on Synoptic-L, is the
                    Message 9 of 15 , Jan 18, 2000
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                      I think that one of the key points of discussion concerning your
                      interpretation of Mark, and one that may be appropriate to discuss on
                      Synoptic-L, is the question of how sophisticated a writer Mark is.
                      Scholarship has been riding a pendulum swinging away from Bultmann's
                      judgment that Mark "is not master of his material." But in my opinion,
                      the pendulum needs to come to rest somewhere much nearer to Bultmann's
                      view than to the views of Mark prevailing today.

                      I think that the assortment of sophisticated theories behind Mark's
                      supposedly "real" meaning has more to do with scholars' abilities to
                      find just about anything they're looking for, than with real authorial
                      elements in Mark. Most of the theories also seem to presuppose an
                      incredible level of sophistication on the part of Mark's readers.

                      I offer the gospel of John as an example of what a somewhat literarily
                      sophisticated gospel looks like. I don't believe that Mark is anything
                      like this.


                      John C. Poirier
                      Middletown, Ohio
                    • Jim West
                      ... I agree with this statement. Mark has- it seems to me- numerous contradictory statements as well as rather poor transitions and an ending that is no
                      Message 10 of 15 , Jan 18, 2000
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                        At 10:05 AM 1/18/00 -0500, you wrote:
                        >I think that one of the key points of discussion concerning your
                        >interpretation of Mark, and one that may be appropriate to discuss on
                        >Synoptic-L, is the question of how sophisticated a writer Mark is.
                        >Scholarship has been riding a pendulum swinging away from Bultmann's
                        >judgment that Mark "is not master of his material." But in my opinion,
                        >the pendulum needs to come to rest somewhere much nearer to Bultmann's
                        >view than to the views of Mark prevailing today.

                        I agree with this statement. Mark has- it seems to me- numerous
                        contradictory statements as well as rather poor transitions and an ending
                        that is no ending at all.

                        >
                        >I think that the assortment of sophisticated theories behind Mark's
                        >supposedly "real" meaning has more to do with scholars' abilities to
                        >find just about anything they're looking for, than with real authorial
                        >elements in Mark. Most of the theories also seem to presuppose an
                        >incredible level of sophistication on the part of Mark's readers.
                        >

                        Indeed! How sophisticated they must have been if they see what modern
                        critics see! Pretty good, if you ask me, for a bunch of barely literate 1st
                        century poor folk huddled in house churches and waiting for any word to come
                        down from on high. They must have all had doctoral degrees from the
                        university of athens.

                        >I offer the gospel of John as an example of what a somewhat literarily
                        >sophisticated gospel looks like. I don't believe that Mark is anything
                        >like this.

                        Again I agree. John and Mark are Day and Night. That there are literary
                        subtleties in John is fairly evident by his use of numerous double entendre.
                        Mark, in comparison, is a stumbling literary "string of pearls" randomly
                        placed without much unification.

                        Jim

                        p.s.- its nice to see people continuing to appreciate Bultmann and some of
                        our old forebears.

                        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

                        Jim West, ThD
                        jwest@...
                        http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
                      • K. Hanhart
                        ... Dear John, NT scholarship owes a great deal to Bultmann. However, pre-war Bultmann was primarily interested in the history of religion in Hellenistic
                        Message 11 of 15 , Jan 18, 2000
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                          John C. Poirier wrote:
                          >
                          > I think that one of the key points of discussion concerning your
                          > interpretation of Mark, and one that may be appropriate to discuss on
                          > Synoptic-L, is the question of how sophisticated a writer Mark is.
                          > Scholarship has been riding a pendulum swinging away from Bultmann's
                          > judgment that Mark "is not master of his material." But in my opinion,
                          > the pendulum needs to come to rest somewhere much nearer to Bultmann's
                          > view than to the views of Mark prevailing today.

                          Dear John,
                          NT scholarship owes a great deal to Bultmann. However, pre-war Bultmann
                          was primarily interested in the history of religion in Hellenistic
                          culture while Mark appears to be interested in the fate of his own
                          people and the adherence to or rejection of the two protagonists of his
                          story, John the Baptizer and Jesus.

                          One might argue (which I do not) that the authors of rabbibic literature
                          had little sophistication and were difficult to understand. It all
                          depends on the reader's response. Did the readers of the rabbi's regard
                          their derasha to be highly sophisticated and worth remembering? The
                          answer is, I think, positive.

                          with regards.
                          Karel Hanhart
                        • Thomas R.W. Longstaff
                          Greetings, ... Well, it may be so, but in any case your contributions and comments on Synoptic-L are welcome. I was sincere when I said that I read them with
                          Message 12 of 15 , Jan 18, 2000
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                            Greetings,

                            On Tue, 18 Jan 2000, K. Hanhart wrote:

                            > Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote:
                            > >
                            > > At 08:34 PM 1/17/00 +0100, you wrote:
                            > >
                            > > >Several times I wrote in Synoptic-L on a crux interpretum in GMark,
                            > > >ideas that werenot readily picked up, except by Maluflen.
                            >
                            > > Well, don't feel too badly rejected or ignored.
                            >
                            > I don't. I simply maintain that Kata Markon is a better channel for
                            > continuing this particular discussion but that List should be
                            > subservient to Synoptic-L.

                            Well, it may be so, but in any case your contributions and comments on
                            Synoptic-L are welcome. I was sincere when I said that I read them with
                            interest.

                            > I did study your searching article in NTS 27.2 "the women at the tomb"
                            > in Matthew in which you stated there may be "pre-Matthean traditions
                            > behind these [Matthean] stories - a point which might be debated -....".
                            > Markan priority is precisely what I wish to be debated in view of the
                            > burial stories. I would like to know your own work on the burial story
                            > in Mark. I would be much obliged if you would indicate where it was
                            > published.

                            I'm at home now (information about that is at my office) and about to
                            depart for some work with several colleagues (on a book on Mark to be
                            published, hopefully within the next year). What is more important is that
                            responses from several of us have opened up discussion of your posting to
                            a slightly wider audience. That seems to me the greatest benefit of the
                            exchange. What I wrote can wait for another day.

                            > In a previous contribution to Synoptic-L I mentioned my book (Liturgical
                            > Press) in which I pursued my thesis in extenso including the tantalizing
                            > question whether Mark understood Jewish tradition. See e.g. my
                            > discussion re. "the first day" [of Shabuot].

                            I know - although I am still unconvinced that Mark understood Jewish
                            tradition as you suggest. That does not mean, of course, that he didn't
                            nor that the topic is not one for debate. It only means that I'm
                            unconvinced.

                            > I do hope debates in Synoptic-L will not be decided by the mere number
                            > of Jewish scholars cited. We would do Jewish scholarship a disservice. I
                            > am convinced that dialogue with Jewish scholars is essential for
                            > progress in NT studies. Jews have reasons all their own for deciphering
                            > developments in their history of the first century of the Common Era.

                            Is this seriously your view of how discussion on Synoptic-L takes place?
                            Is this seriously what you understood the intent of my comments to be? Is
                            this rhetoric, moral instruction or just a "put down" of those whose
                            scholarship you look down upon? While I find your suggestions about Mark
                            ones worth thinking about, your derogatory comments about list members
                            seem, to me as an individual, much less likely to facilitate a profitable
                            exchange.

                            As I said, this is not a thread in which I have keen interest at this time
                            and not one in which I want to continue to paticipate - although I read
                            the postings with interst. I do hope that we've got some discussion of
                            substantial issues going that you will find the exchange interesting and
                            helpful to you.

                            With good wishes and a hope that the dialogue (about the substantial
                            issues related to the gospels) will continue.

                            Tom Longstaff
                            Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
                            Director, African-American Studies
                            Colby College
                            Waterville, Maine USA
                          • Maluflen@aol.com
                            In a message dated 1/18/2000 10:07:22 AM Eastern Standard Time, poirier@siscom.net writes:
                            Message 13 of 15 , Jan 18, 2000
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                              In a message dated 1/18/2000 10:07:22 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                              poirier@... writes:

                              <<
                              I offer the gospel of John as an example of what a somewhat literarily
                              sophisticated gospel looks like. I don't believe that Mark is anything
                              like this. >>

                              Indeed. There are in fact three literarily sophisticated gospels, not just
                              one. Mark alone is a popularized Gospel drama, in my view based on an earlier
                              literary tradition, that found in Matthew and Luke. The problem I see with
                              Bultmann's view is the underlying assumption of Markan priority: so that in
                              spite of labelling Mark as Kleinliteratur (a correct diagnosis), B.
                              nevertheless makes Mark the originator of a highly sophisticated overall
                              portrayal of Jesus that we call the Synoptic tradition.

                              Leonard Maluf
                            • K. Hanhart
                              ... Thomas, I was simply reacting to your enumeration of leading Jewish scholars you had consulted in order to bolster your position. However, you didnot go
                              Message 14 of 15 , Jan 20, 2000
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                                Thomas R.W. Longstaff wrote:
                                >
                                > Greetings,
                                >
                                > On Tue, 18 Jan 2000, K. Hanhart wrote:
                                >
                                > > Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote:

                                > > I do hope debates in Synoptic-L will not be decided by the mere number
                                > > of Jewish scholars cited. We would do Jewish scholarship a disservice. I
                                > > am convinced that dialogue with Jewish scholars is essential for
                                > > progress in NT studies. Jews have reasons all their own for deciphering
                                > > developments in their history of the first century of the Common Era.
                                >
                                > Is this seriously your view of how discussion on Synoptic-L takes place?
                                > Is this seriously what you understood the intent of my comments to be? Is
                                > this rhetoric, moral instruction or just a "put down" of those whose
                                > scholarship you look down upon? While I find your suggestions about Mark
                                > ones worth thinking about, your derogatory comments about list members
                                > seem, to me as an individual, much less likely to facilitate a profitable
                                > exchange.

                                Thomas,

                                I was simply reacting to your enumeration of leading Jewish scholars you
                                had consulted in order to bolster your position. However, you didnot go
                                into any detail nor did you mention what they had said or written. I
                                certainly didnot wish to offer any "moral instruction" and I donot "look
                                down" on your scholarship nor on the learning of anyone else. So I was
                                taken aback by your charge that I had made "derogatory remarks about
                                list members". What list members do you have in mind? I am firmly agree
                                with the protocal of Synoptic-L that all critical comments of a personal
                                should be avoided.

                                I trust that I have set the record straight and put your mind at rest.

                                your Karel H
                              • Thomas R. W. Longstaff
                                I think that both as an individual and a coordinator of the list I will call for an end to this thread (not the one about the tomb hewn from the rock but the
                                Message 15 of 15 , Jan 20, 2000
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                                  I think that both as an individual and a coordinator of the list I will
                                  call for an end to this thread (not the one about the tomb hewn from the
                                  rock but the one about possible derogatory comments). Enough, perhaps too
                                  much, has already been written about that and while we want to be careful
                                  about how we communicate with one another we want the list to be devoted to
                                  a discussion of gospel criticism.

                                  Thank you.

                                  Tom Longstaff

                                  At 05:28 PM 1/20/00 +0100, K. Hanhart wrote:
                                  >Thomas R.W. Longstaff wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Greetings,
                                  > >
                                  > > On Tue, 18 Jan 2000, K. Hanhart wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > > Thomas R. W. Longstaff wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > > I do hope debates in Synoptic-L will not be decided by the mere number
                                  > > > of Jewish scholars cited. We would do Jewish scholarship a disservice. I
                                  > > > am convinced that dialogue with Jewish scholars is essential for
                                  > > > progress in NT studies. Jews have reasons all their own for deciphering
                                  > > > developments in their history of the first century of the Common Era.
                                  > >
                                  > > Is this seriously your view of how discussion on Synoptic-L takes place?
                                  > > Is this seriously what you understood the intent of my comments to be? Is
                                  > > this rhetoric, moral instruction or just a "put down" of those whose
                                  > > scholarship you look down upon? While I find your suggestions about Mark
                                  > > ones worth thinking about, your derogatory comments about list members
                                  > > seem, to me as an individual, much less likely to facilitate a profitable
                                  > > exchange.
                                  >
                                  >Thomas,
                                  >
                                  >I was simply reacting to your enumeration of leading Jewish scholars you
                                  >had consulted in order to bolster your position. However, you didnot go
                                  >into any detail nor did you mention what they had said or written. I
                                  >certainly didnot wish to offer any "moral instruction" and I donot "look
                                  >down" on your scholarship nor on the learning of anyone else. So I was
                                  >taken aback by your charge that I had made "derogatory remarks about
                                  >list members". What list members do you have in mind? I am firmly agree
                                  >with the protocal of Synoptic-L that all critical comments of a personal
                                  >should be avoided.
                                  >
                                  >I trust that I have set the record straight and put your mind at rest.
                                  >
                                  >your Karel H
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