Re: Matthean Irony
> Mark Goodacre wrote:Antonio
> <My feeling would be that there is irony in Matthew, especially in the
> <Passion Narrative, but that most of it comes in from Mark's much more
> <richly ironic Passion Narrative. Matthew's tendency is to play down
> <the elements of dramatic irony, most clearly in the Centurion's
> <confession. In Mark this is clearly ironic: the reader can see that
> <the veil of the temple has torn in two from top to bottom (15.38) but
> <all that the centurion can see is the last despairing cry of Jesus
> <(15.39). Mockingly, he says "Huh, surely this was a son of God".
> I know that Robert Fowler has argued for this interpretation ofI've just re-read the thing, having always assumed the reverential
> the Centurions words in "Let the reader understand". But I think
> this may be a case where we are reading just too much irony
> into Mark's text. Why is this "clearly ironic"? Is there something
> in the greek that makes the Centurions words mocking and not
> just simply reverential?
or rather, the Markan notion that confessing the Son vis a vis
suffering/death is the right approach. No. No way.
The whole scenario is one of mocking. Mock mock mock mock.
The soldiers, all the soldiers and so the centurion, do the
fake kingly reverencing. Those who pass by insult him, the
chief priests and doctors of the law mock him. He gets mocked
with the Elijah calling business, the vinegar, he dies and then
the centurion speaks. It's even the same kind of soldierly mocking
as the former, "Hail to the King of the Jews... not!" "Hail to a
son of God... not!" The context demands some piece of solid
evidence to say the centurion isn't mocking, but there isn't any
At the end Jesus cries out loudly in desolation and then gives
a loud cry. This is, I believe, NOT how a Roman soldier would
ideally face death. Rather, I think stoic silence would be the
presumed honorable way to go.
The "whole Markan context" which I'd been thinking in terms
of doesn't even help here, for even if the soldier had been privy to
Jesus' definition of his mission his 'right answer' should have been
"Surely this was the Son of Man." There's not a shred in Mark about
the need for the Son of God to die. I have to go for irony here.
One more bit to change in the next revision of my New Testament