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[Synoptic-L] Papias & Mark (Again)

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  • Steven Craig Miller
    To: Larry J. Swain, et al., Eusebius writes:
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 1, 2001
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      To: Larry J. Swain, et al.,

      Eusebius writes:

      << "And the Presbyter used to say this, 'Mark became Peter's interpreter
      and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the
      things said or done by the Lord. For he had not heard the Lord, nor had he
      followed him, but later on, as I said, followed Peter, who used to give
      teaching as necessity demanded by not making, as it were, an arrangement of
      the Lord's oracles, so that Mark did nothing wrong in thus writing down
      single points as he remembered them. For to one thing he gave attention, to
      leave out nothing of what he heard and to make no false statements in
      them.'" This is related by Papias about Mark, and about Matthew this was
      said, "Matthew collected the oracles in the Hebrew language, and each
      interpreted them as best he could" >> ("Church History," 3.39.15-16
      [translated by Kirsopp Lake]).

      In an earlier message I wrote the following:

      SCM: << Papias claimed that Matthew's gospel was originally written in
      Hebrew, and yet we know that is simply not true. Matthew's Gospel is not
      translation Greek. Since he was wrong about Matthew, why should we assume
      that he was correct about Mark? >>

      To which Larry J. Swain replied:

      LJS: << Here I must take exception. Papias was and is understood as
      claiming that Matthew was written in Hebrew, confirming another tradition
      re: Matthew. Since we only have the snippet which Eusebius quotes, for me
      there is a great deal of question on that issue. There are problems in my
      mind being a little too quick to assign the meaning "language" to DIALEKTOS
      ... >>

      I was once aware of this interpretation, and it simply slipped my mind when
      I wrote the above statement. It also undermines the argument which I made
      (above), on the other hand it underscores my real objection with taking
      this passage too seriously, and that is we have so little context so as to
      know what was originally meant.

      It is true that one cannot determine whether hEBRAIDI DIALEKTWi here means
      (a) "in a Semitic language" or (b) "in a Semetic way of speaking." Why? We
      just don't have enough context from Eusebius or Papias (or the Elder?), to
      know which was meant. It is also often assumed that the "Elder" (=
      "Presbyter") mentioned here is "John," since the "Elder John" was just
      mentioned by Eusebius. But Eusebius is quoting from Papias, and one cannot
      be certain that in that particular passage Papias was referring to the
      "Elder John." While it is clear that the statement about Mark is a
      quotation from Papias who, in turn, was quoting the Elder, it is uncertain
      whether the statement about Matthew is also a quotation from the Elder, or
      is merely the opinion of Papias. While many scholars have made the very
      interesting suggestion that what was meant by Mark's Gospel being "not,
      indeed, in order" (OU MENTOI TAXEI) was that Jesus' ministry appears to
      take place in one year in Mark's gospel, while it appears to take place in
      three years in John's gospel, one cannot be certain that was what was
      meant. Why? We just don't have enough context from Eusebius, Papias, or the
      Elder, to know what was meant.

      In an earlier message I wrote:

      SCM: << We don't have know precisely what Papias read, do we? Do we have
      his precise copy of Mark? Can we be absolutely certain that his Mark is
      anything similar to our Mark? >>

      It was suggested that I was being overly skeptical, and that such an
      argument was "to a degree ... nonsense." But is it really? A number of
      scholars have put forth the hypothesis that there was an "Ur-Markus" gospel
      written before our Mark. A fair number of scholars hold that there was once
      a Q-gospel which is no longer extant. Early Christianity knew a number of
      different gospels: two different Gospels of Thomas, the Gospel according to
      the Hebrews, the Gospel of the Nazaraeans, the Gospel of the Ebionites, the
      Gospel of the Egyptians, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Peter, the
      Gospel of Andrew, the Gospel of Gamaliel, etc. We also have fragments of
      unknown Gospels. Who is to say that there wasn't another Gospel of Mark?
      The fact remains that no one quotes even one passage from the Elder's Mark.
      We simply have no idea that this Elder's Mark look anything like our Mark.
      And we can be fairly certain that Eusebius had never seen a copy of the
      Elder's Mark. So who is to say?

      Now to the heart of the matter. The Elder suggests that Mark was
      second-generation disciple, a follower and interpreter of Peter. First let
      me say that I don't find this idea to be impossible. Mainstream scholarship
      has never suggested that Mark wrote his Gospel out of thin air. He had to
      get his information from someone, and so, why not Peter? Also, I doubt that
      one has to interpret this statement by the Elder so literally so as to
      suggest that Mark only received information about Jesus from Peter. Even if
      one assumes that Mark was a disciple of Peter, and his interpreter, it is
      quite possible that Mark drew upon other sources as well. But my major
      objection to this tradition is merely that there doesn't appear to be
      anything in Mark's Gospel which would indicate that Peter was in part
      responsible for this Gospel, or even, for that matter, that "Mark" was its
      author. In my opinion, the evidence is just too scanty to suggest that it
      is "most probable" that Mark was the author of the Gospel attributed to him
      and that this Mark was a disciple of Peter. Early Christianity was often a
      persecuted religion, one that advocated a Savior who had been convicted and
      crucified by the Romans as an insurrectionist. There appears to be some
      justification for an author of such a Gospel to want to be anonymous.

      -Steven Craig Miller
      Alton, Illinois (USA)
      scmiller@...



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    • Thomas Kopecek
      Steven Craig Miller wrote: Now to the heart of the matter. The Elder suggests that Mark was second-generation disciple, a follower and interpreter of Peter.
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 1, 2001
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        Steven Craig Miller wrote:


        Now to the heart of the matter. The Elder suggests that Mark was
        second-generation disciple, a follower and interpreter of Peter. First
        let
        me say that I don't find this idea to be impossible. Mainstream
        scholarship
        has never suggested that Mark wrote his Gospel out of thin air. He had
        to
        get his information from someone, and so, why not Peter? Also, I doubt
        that
        one has to interpret this statement by the Elder so literally so as to
        suggest that Mark only received information about Jesus from Peter. Even
        if
        one assumes that Mark was a disciple of Peter, and his interpreter, it
        is
        quite possible that Mark drew upon other sources as well. But my major
        objection to this tradition is merely that there doesn't appear to be
        anything in Mark's Gospel which would indicate that Peter was in part
        responsible for this Gospel . . . .

        ---I generally put more stock in patristic testimony than most NT scholars,
        but I confess that the Gospel of Mark as it stands draws such a negative
        portrait of Peter that I find it hard not to conclude that the gospel was
        trying to discredit him and the rest of the 12 in a thorough-going, global
        fashion. This doesn't comport well with the notion that Peter was the source
        of the material in the gospel in the way Papias suggests, however it would
        please me to be able to entertain the possibility that Papias' testimony is
        to be taken as somehow "historical".

        Tom

        ___
        Thomas A. Kopecek
        Professor of Religion
        Central College, Pella, IA 50219
        kopecekt@...

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      • Bob MacDonald - AMA
        ... me say that I don t find this idea to be impossible. ... I cannot follow your argument, Tom - or I don t wish to. Normal human self-aggrandizement and
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 1, 2001
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          Steven Craig Miller wrote:
          >> Mark ... a follower and interpreter of Peter. First let
          me say that I don't find this idea to be impossible.

          Tom A Kopecek wrote:
          >>Mark as it stands draws such a negative portrait of Peter
          >>that I find it hard not to conclude that the gospel was
          >>trying to discredit him ... This doesn't comport well with
          >>the notion that Peter was the source.

          I cannot follow your argument, Tom - or I don't wish to. Normal human
          self-aggrandizement and self-interest do not hold as motives in a gospel
          narrative when a person such as Peter has learned to 1. recognize his
          weakness, 2. repent, 3. recognize the subsequent miraculous strengthening
          that occurs.

          Whatever the 'literal historical' truth of gospel narratives, human
          psychological truths such as the nature of our reaction to criticism and our
          tendency to seek and secure power at all costs are turned upside down by the
          fact of Jesus' death and the imputed triumph of the resurrection.

          When we were children, perhaps we only sought to defend ourselves and
          protect our turf. When we matured especially if we matured in the knowledge
          of the crucifixion, we put away these childish motives knowing that
          self-interest lies in admitting fault rather than hiding it.

          So Mark's being taught how blind, hard hearted, or thick-headed the
          disciples were is not incompatible with input from a matured Peter.

          Is anyone doing serious work on the implied humanity of the characters in
          the gospels? What did they believe about themselves and their lives in
          relation to each other and to their God? Why would they bother writing this
          gospel story? Surely it was more than a competition for precedence. Who sees
          so clearly in his or her own lifetime?

          Happy New Year

          Bob

          mailto::BobMacDonald@...
          + + + Victoria, B.C., Canada + + +

          Catch the foxes for us,
          the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards,
          for our vineyards are in flower. (Song 2.15)
          http://members.home.net/bobmacdonald/homepage.htm



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        • Stephen C. Carlson
          ... I think it would be overreading the early patristic testimony as Jerome did (Ep. 120,11: Marcum, cuius evangelium Petro narrante et illo scribente
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 1, 2001
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            At 04:16 PM 1/1/01 -0600, Thomas Kopecek wrote:
            >---I generally put more stock in patristic testimony than most NT scholars,
            >but I confess that the Gospel of Mark as it stands draws such a negative
            >portrait of Peter that I find it hard not to conclude that the gospel was
            >trying to discredit him and the rest of the 12 in a thorough-going, global
            >fashion. This doesn't comport well with the notion that Peter was the source
            >of the material in the gospel in the way Papias suggests, however it would
            >please me to be able to entertain the possibility that Papias' testimony is
            >to be taken as somehow "historical".

            I think it would be overreading the early patristic testimony as
            Jerome did (Ep. 120,11: Marcum, cuius evangelium Petro narrante et
            illo scribente compositum est; "Mark, whose gospel was composed with
            Peter narrating and him writing") to conclude that Peter was the
            immediate source of Mark's gospel. Rather, as we get earlier in time,
            the witnesses attenuate Peter's role in their attribution of the
            Second Gospel to one of Peter's associates.

            At the turn of the third century, Clement of Alexandria related the
            following etiology of Mark's gospel (Eus., HE 6.14.5-7):

            >He said that those gospels with genealogies were published openly, 6 but
            >Mark had this procedure: when Peter was in Rome preaching in public the word
            >and proclaiming the gospel by the spirit, those present, who were many,
            >entreated Mark, as one who followed him for a long time and remembered what
            >was said, to record what was spoken; but after he composed the gospel, he
            >shared it with anyone who wanted it; 7 when Peter found out about it, he
            >did not actively discourage or encourage it;

            Thus, Clement stated that Mark was asked to write a gospel because
            he was an associate of Peter and would remember what Peter preached.
            What was explicit in Jerome is only implicit in Clement. Clement's
            remarks did not expressly say that the contents of Mark's gospel
            comprised the preaching of Peter, only that Mark knew what Peter
            preached. Clement's apology for the limited publication of the
            Second gospel, in contrast to the wide publication of Matthew and
            Luke, however, requires that Mark's gospel did contain Peter's
            preaching. Even so, Clement's concession that Peter did not
            endorse Mark's gospel is significant: it presupposes a tradition
            in which the gospel of Mark was disconnected from Peter.

            What could that disconnect be? Probably, as Irenaeus related a
            generation earlier, Mark's gospel was composed after the death of
            Peter (Adv. Hear. 3.1.3, ap. Eus. H.E. 5.8.3 META DE THN TOUTWN
            EXODEN MARKOS, hO MAQHTHS KAI hERMHNEUTHS PETROU, KAI AUTOS TA
            hUPO PETROU KHRUSSOMENA EGGRAGWS hHMIN PARADEDWKEN "but after
            their departure Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, he
            too handed what was preached by Peter down to us in writing).

            Prior to Irenaeus was Papias, who explained the Elder's remarks
            on Mark as follows: OUTE GAR HKOUSEN TOU KURIOU OUTE PARHKOLOUQHSEN
            AUTWi, hUSTERON DE, hWS ELFHS, PETRWi: hOS PROS TAS CREIAS EPOIEITO
            TAS DIDASKALIAS, ALL' OUC hWSPER SUNTAXIN TWN KURIAKWN POIOUMENOS
            LOGIWN, hWSTE OUDEN hHARTEN MARKOS hOUTWS ELNIA GRAYAS hWS APEMNHMOSEUSEN.
            ENOS GAR EPOIHSATE PRONOIAN, TOU MHDEN hWN HKOUSEN hWN PARALIPEIN H
            YEUSASQAI TI EN AUTOIS. "For he [scil. Mark] neither heard the Lord
            nor followed him, but later, as I said, Peter, who as necessary
            would make his teachings but not exactly an arrangement of the
            Lord's reports, so that Mark did not fail by writing certain
            things as he recalled. For he had one purpose, not to omit what
            he heard or falsify them." (Eus., H.E. 3.39.15)

            Like Clement, Papias expressly informed us that (a) Mark was
            Peter's follower and that (b) Mark wrote something down. The
            contents of what Papias said Mark wrote down is unfortunately
            ambiguous: what Mark "recalled" or what Peter recalled. I
            favor the former, because Mark being the subject of APEMNHMOSEUSEN
            "HE recalled" would be consistent with the following "for he had
            one purpose" and "what he heard," both of which more clearly
            refers to Mark as the subject. With this choice, Peter need
            not be present when Mark "recalled" as he wrote; Mark's composition
            could have occured some time afterward, probably after Peter's
            death as Irenaeus later would tell us. Nevertheless for Papias's
            apology to work, Mark had to have written what he recalled from
            Peter. Thus, Papias implies that the source of Mark's gospel is
            Peter's disordered teachings.

            The Elder's remarks are interesting in terms of what they do not
            say: MARKOS MEN hERMHNEUTHS PETROU GENOMENOS, hOSA EMNHMONEUSEN,
            AKRIBUS EGRAYEN, OU MENTOI TAXEI TA hUPO KURIOU H LECQENTA H
            PRACQENTA. "Mark, who indeed had been Peter's interpreter,
            accurately wrote, yet not in order, as much as he remembered
            about that which was either said or did by the Lord." Eus. H.E.
            3.39.15.

            The Elder gives no source for Mark's information. The role of
            Peter is merely to identify the Mark that wrote the gospel. Also,
            I construe the aorist participle GENOMENOS to set up a sequence of
            tenses, in which Mark had been Peter's interpreter, but no longer
            was, probably, as Irenaeus later informs us, due to Peter's death.
            Thus, the Elder indicates that some time after Peter's death, after
            his relationship as interpreter with Peter ended, Mark wrote a gospel
            what he (again Mark, not Peter, to be consistent with Papias's remarks)
            remembered. While Papias attempted to attribute the lack of order
            to Mark's accurate memory of Peter, the Elder directly blamed Mark
            for not writing in order.

            It is easy to see how later Christians, being less than
            completely satisfied with the Elder's testimony, expanded upon
            that information, making Mark's gospel more and more apostolic.
            First, Papias implied that Mark got his content from Peter.
            This became explicit later in the second century with Irenaeus.
            Clement moved the time of Mark's writing earlier to Peter's
            lifetime, but concedes that Peter never endorsed it. Jerome
            completes this trajectory, making Mark merely the secretary
            recording Peter's dictation.

            So, all we have of the earliest tradition is that someone named
            Mark who worked with Peter wrote a gospel some time after the
            working relationship ended, probably due to Peter's death. Should
            we be skeptical because Mark is less than flattering of Peter? I
            don't think so, not just because Mark's negative portrayal is
            oversold (in many respects it is less negative than Matthew's), but
            also because many people are critical about former associates. Now,
            I'm not calling Mark a disgrunted employee, but I see no necessary
            link between the mere fact of a relationship (that's all we really
            have) and how one person would view the other in the relationship,
            especially after the relationship has ended.

            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

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          • Thomas Kopecek
            ... Stephen: It seems I m too old to learn how to read the transliterated Greek you have cited, so I ll have to dig out the Greek texts and look them over in
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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              Stephen C. Carlson wrote:

              >So, all we have of the earliest tradition is that someone named
              >Mark who worked with Peter wrote a gospel some time after the
              >working relationship ended, probably due to Peter's death. Should
              >we be skeptical because Mark is less than flattering of Peter? I
              >don't think so, not just because Mark's negative portrayal is
              >oversold (in many respects it is less negative than Matthew's), but
              >also because many people are critical about former associates. Now,
              >I'm not calling Mark a disgrunted employee, but I see no necessary
              >link between the mere fact of a relationship (that's all we really
              >have) and how one person would view the other in the relationship,
              >especially after the relationship has ended.

              Stephen: It seems I'm too old to learn how to read the transliterated Greek
              you have cited, so I'll have to dig out the Greek texts and look them over
              in light of your interpretations, which I find very interesting.

              I was struck, however, by your comment that "Mark's negative portrayal is
              oversold (in many respects it is less negative than Matthew's)." Since I'm
              less dedicated to keeping up with the flood of material on NT scholarship
              than I'm dedicated to trying to follow the Patristic scholarship in which
              I'm interested (for which I apologize to the list), I'm curious about why
              you (and others on the list as well, if there are others) think Matthew's
              portrayal of Peter is more "negative" than Matthew's.

              Would you extend this to the rest of the Eleven as well, for they appear to
              me rarely--if ever--to catch on to Jesus in Mark, whereas they do in
              Matthew. Moreover, at least Mt's Jesus promises to drink of the fruit of the
              vine with the Twelve in his "Father's kingdom,' and at least the Eleven "saw
              him" on the mountain in Galilee, though some doubted rather than paid
              homage.

              I guess I'm not following.

              Tom

              ___

              Thomas A. Kopecek
              Professor of Religion
              Central College
              Pella, IA 50219
              kopecekt@...

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            • Stephen C. Carlson
              ... If you have a modern web browser, you can visit my site and look at the accented Greek text yourself (it requires the SPIonic font, which can be downloaded
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 2, 2001
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                At 08:44 PM 1/2/01 -0600, Thomas Kopecek wrote:
                >Stephen: It seems I'm too old to learn how to read the transliterated Greek
                >you have cited, so I'll have to dig out the Greek texts and look them over
                >in light of your interpretations, which I find very interesting.

                If you have a modern web browser, you can visit my site and look
                at the accented Greek text yourself (it requires the SPIonic font,
                which can be downloaded from a link I provide).

                >I was struck, however, by your comment that "Mark's negative portrayal is
                >oversold (in many respects it is less negative than Matthew's)." Since I'm
                >less dedicated to keeping up with the flood of material on NT scholarship
                >than I'm dedicated to trying to follow the Patristic scholarship in which
                >I'm interested (for which I apologize to the list), I'm curious about why
                >you (and others on the list as well, if there are others) think Matthew's
                >portrayal of Peter is more "negative" than Matthew's.

                I outlined this provocative position of mine in a post I made to
                Crosstalk on July 18, 1997 but did not receive any response,
                favorable or critical. Maybe this time will be different. Here
                is a revised version:

                ----- snip -----
                Although many would wonder how can a gospel that has Peter called
                the rock (Mt16:18) and Peter walking on water (Mt14:28) be more
                negative than Mark, I think a comparison of the two Gospels bears
                it out. In these two examples in Matthew, Peter's success is
                quickly followed by failure. Peter walks on water and sink. Peter
                is called the "Rock" and then the stumbling block (Mt16:23 SKANDALON
                *not in Mk* cf. 13:41). The literary effect is to highlight Peter's
                failure (in Mt compared to Mk).

                In general, this pattern is consistent between the gospels. Matthew
                lacks Mark's vignette of Peter finding Jesus praying (Mk1:36ff).
                Matthew lacks Mark's passage in which Peter with James and John are
                allowed to see the healing of Jairus daughter (Mk5:37). In fact, Mark
                at 11:21 (withered fig tree), 13:3 (private apocalypse), and 16:7
                (resurrection to Peter and the disciples) point out Peter by name,
                but the Matthean parallels lack Peter's name in preference to the
                disciples. Thus, Mark accords an inner circle status to Peter that
                is attenuated in Matthew. The last example is important for Peter's
                credentials as an apostle according to 1 Cor. qualifications of
                witnessing the risen Christ. Matthew could have added a resurrection
                story to Peter first as hinted by Mk16:7, but chose to recount an
                appearance to the Eleven instead.

                In one case, however, the situation (one gospel has "Peter," the other
                "disciples") is reversed: at Mt15:15 Peter does not understand the parable
                about what defiles, but in Mk7:17 the disciples as a whole, without naming
                Peter, do not. In a special-Matthew parable (or Matthean redaction of
                Q), Peter is told to forgive 77 times (18:21), followed by the parable of
                the unmerciful servant. There are also curiously pro-Judaic teachings
                delivered to Peter in Mt but not in Mk: 17:24f. Peter and the Temple
                Tax, after Mt19:27, those who follow Jesus sit on 12 thrones.

                In sum, Matthew describes a Peter with spectacular successes, followed
                by equally spectacular failures. Matthew is less prone to assign
                Peter an inner circle role. Matthew lacks Mark's good story about
                Peter seeking Jesus. This is why I think that Matthew is more negative
                about Peter than Mark.
                ----- snip -----

                >Would you extend this to the rest of the Eleven as well, for they appear to
                >me rarely--if ever--to catch on to Jesus in Mark, whereas they do in
                >Matthew. Moreover, at least Mt's Jesus promises to drink of the fruit of the
                >vine with the Twelve in his "Father's kingdom,' and at least the Eleven "saw
                >him" on the mountain in Galilee, though some doubted rather than paid
                >homage.

                No, I would not extend this to the rest of the Eleven. Matthew clearly
                is more positive about this group of disciples as a whole than Mark.

                >I guess I'm not following.

                I hope this helped.

                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

                Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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              • Thomas A. Kopecek
                Stephen C. Carlson wrote in response to the ... Let me begin by again reminding Synoptic-L readers that I make no claim to be a NT
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 3, 2001
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                  "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote in response to the
                  following question I posed:

                  >>I was struck, however, by your comment that "Mark's negative portrayal is
                  >>oversold (in many respects it is less negative than Matthew's)." Since I'm
                  >>less dedicated to keeping up with the flood of material on NT scholarship
                  >>than I'm dedicated to trying to follow the Patristic scholarship in which
                  >>I'm interested (for which I apologize to the list), I'm curious about why
                  >>you (and others on the list as well, if there are others) think Matthew's
                  >>portrayal of Peter is more "negative" than Matthew's.
                  >
                  > I outlined this provocative position of mine in a post I made to
                  > Crosstalk on July 18, 1997 but did not receive any response,
                  > favorable or critical. Maybe this time will be different. Here
                  > is a revised version:
                  >
                  > ----- snip -----
                  > Although many would wonder how can a gospel that has Peter called
                  > the rock (Mt16:18) and Peter walking on water (Mt14:28) be more
                  > negative than Mark, I think a comparison of the two Gospels bears
                  > it out. In these two examples in Matthew, Peter's success is
                  > quickly followed by failure. Peter walks on water and sink. Peter
                  > is called the "Rock" and then the stumbling block (Mt16:23 SKANDALON
                  > *not in Mk* cf. 13:41). The literary effect is to highlight Peter's
                  > failure (in Mt compared to Mk).

                  Let me begin by again reminding Synoptic-L readers that I make no claim to
                  be a NT scholar. The NT is simply a presupposition for the work I do, such
                  as it is these days, in the Fathers. But with that disclaimer, let me plunge
                  into the deep waters nonetheless.

                  I think the real effect of the literary effect of the sinking and skandalon
                  is to try to explain the data that occur in Mark. But such an interpretation
                  depends on my view of the rest of Stephen's evidence. So to it.

                  >
                  > In general, this pattern is consistent between the gospels. Matthew
                  > lacks Mark's vignette of Peter finding Jesus praying (Mk1:36ff).
                  > Matthew lacks Mark's passage in which Peter with James and John are
                  > allowed to see the healing of Jairus daughter (Mk5:37).

                  Mk 5:37 comes (1) between 4:34-41, especially 40-41 (where Jesus says to his
                  disciples, "Have you still no faith," and they respond, "Who is this . . .
                  ?") and 6:1-6a, especially 6a (where Jesus is amazed by the lack of faith of
                  his kin) and (2) it is the outsider woman with the hemorrhages in 5:34 who--
                  unlike the insider three disciples Peter, James, and John at the raising of
                  Jairus' daughter (along with the rest of the 12 to whom the secret of the
                  Kingdom of God had been revealed)--explicitly is portrayed as having faith.
                  Thus, Mk 5:37, in context, is negative in its portrayal of Peter, James, and
                  John.

                  I think Mt omits it precisely because the reference to the three disciples
                  in Mark is negative. Finally, the presence in Mark of Peter, James, and John
                  at the raising of Jairus' daughter is a foreshadowing of the transfiguration
                  scene in Mark 9:2-13, which is very negative toward the inner core of the
                  Three, just as 9:14-29 and 48-41 are negative toward the rest of the
                  disciples. Matthew obviously softens Mk's transfiguration story's negative
                  portrait of the three.

                  > In fact, Mark
                  > at 11:21 (withered fig tree),

                  The presence in Mark 11:21 of Peter is, in my opinion, negative, for after
                  Peter says, "Rabbi, look: the fig tree that you cursed has withered," Jesus
                  answers in 11:22, "Have faith in God." Jesus then goes on to talk about not
                  doubting and having faith in prayer, which Peter, like the rest of the 12
                  mentioned back in 9:27 in a comparable passage, never does in Mark, at least
                  as far as I can see (while Jesus prays later on, Peter sleeps, for
                  instance). This passage in 11:22 also echoes, as I see it, the stilling of
                  the storm passage, "Have you still no faith?"


                  >13:3 (private apocalypse),

                  Yes, Peter is present, but the point of chapter 13 is "Keep awake!" This
                  immediately foreshadows 14:32-34, where Peter, James, and John don't--but
                  rather fall asleep. Of course Mt would eliminate the reference to Peter in
                  the parallel to Mark 13, precisely to eliminate some of the negative
                  portrayal of Peter in Mk--and thus to speak better of him.

                  > and 16:7
                  > (resurrection to Peter and the disciples) point out Peter by name,
                  > but the Matthean parallels lack Peter's name in preference to the
                  > disciples. Thus, Mark accords an inner circle status to Peter that
                  > is attenuated in Matthew. The last example is important for Peter's
                  > credentials as an apostle according to 1 Cor. qualifications of
                  > witnessing the risen Christ. Matthew could have added a resurrection
                  > story to Peter first as hinted by Mk16:7, but chose to recount an
                  > appearance to the Eleven instead.

                  I don't see anything in chapter 16 of Mk to be a hint of a resurrection
                  appearance to Peter, for the women "said notin' to nobody." It is, rather, a
                  very emphatic statement that Jesus' message that he was "leading" the 11,
                  especially Peter, to Galilee (14:26ff)--as reported by the young man at the
                  tomb (16:7)--never got to Peter and the rest. Mt omits the reference to
                  Peter precisely to speak more positively of Peter and the Eleven than Mark,
                  I think.


                  >
                  > In one case, however, the situation (one gospel has "Peter," the other
                  > "disciples") is reversed: at Mt15:15 Peter does not understand the parable
                  > about what defiles, but in Mk7:17 the disciples as a whole, without naming
                  > Peter, do not. In a special-Matthew parable (or Matthean redaction of
                  > Q), Peter is told to forgive 77 times (18:21), followed by the parable of
                  > the unmerciful servant. There are also curiously pro-Judaic teachings
                  > delivered to Peter in Mt but not in Mk: 17:24f. Peter and the Temple
                  > Tax, after Mt19:27, those who follow Jesus sit on 12 thrones.

                  The more positive portrayal of Peter in Mt agrees with with the Temple Tax
                  story in 17:24ff and the eschatological judgment verse in 19:28, in my
                  opinion.

                  I know I haven't dealt with all of your passages, Stephen, but I'm no NT
                  scholar. I'd have to give the others further thought.

                  >
                  > I hope this helped.

                  Not yet. Keep going at me, and maybe you'll be able to convince me. I've
                  certainly got an open mind about the matter.

                  Tom

                  ___
                  Thomas A. Kopecek
                  Professor of Religion
                  Central College, Pella, Iowa 50219
                  kopecekt@...

                  Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                  List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                • Stephen C. Carlson
                  Thank you very much for your response. In this message, it is important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark s portrayal of Peter is in many respects
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jan 3, 2001
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                    Thank you very much for your response. In this message, it is
                    important to keep in mind that my thesis is that Mark's portrayal
                    of Peter is in many respects less negative than Matthew. That
                    is not to say that Mark is never negative about Peter, only that
                    I think on balance that views of Mark's negativity toward Peter
                    are overexaggerated. I am using Matthew, which few think is negative
                    toward Peter, as a basis for comparison: if Mark is indeed less
                    negative than Matthew over Peter, then Mark's remaining negativity
                    to Peter should not be considered out of place in the first century,
                    before the tendency toward hagiography became more pronounced.

                    Now, onto the particular points:

                    At 07:39 PM 1/3/01 -0600, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
                    >"Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote in response to the
                    >following question I posed:
                    >> Although many would wonder how can a gospel that has Peter called
                    >> the rock (Mt16:18) and Peter walking on water (Mt14:28) be more
                    >> negative than Mark, I think a comparison of the two Gospels bears
                    >> it out. In these two examples in Matthew, Peter's success is
                    >> quickly followed by failure. Peter walks on water and sink. Peter
                    >> is called the "Rock" and then the stumbling block (Mt16:23 SKANDALON
                    >> *not in Mk* cf. 13:41). The literary effect is to highlight Peter's
                    >> failure (in Mt compared to Mk).
                    >
                    >I think the real effect of the literary effect of the sinking and skandalon
                    >is to try to explain the data that occur in Mark. But such an interpretation
                    >depends on my view of the rest of Stephen's evidence. So to it.

                    If I wanted to lessen the negativity of Peter in this passage, I
                    would omit Jesus' calling Peter "Satan." Matthew did not do that.
                    Rather, Matthew called Peter a stumbling block, a reproach lacking
                    in Mark. Perhaps this is explaining Mark, or perhaps it is adding
                    insult to injury.

                    >> In general, this pattern is consistent between the gospels. Matthew
                    >> lacks Mark's vignette of Peter finding Jesus praying (Mk1:36ff).
                    >> Matthew lacks Mark's passage in which Peter with James and John are
                    >> allowed to see the healing of Jairus daughter (Mk5:37).
                    >
                    >Mk 5:37 comes (1) between 4:34-41, especially 40-41 (where Jesus says to his
                    >disciples, "Have you still no faith," and they respond, "Who is this . . .
                    >?") and 6:1-6a, especially 6a (where Jesus is amazed by the lack of faith of
                    >his kin) and (2) it is the outsider woman with the hemorrhages in 5:34 who--
                    >unlike the insider three disciples Peter, James, and John at the raising of
                    >Jairus' daughter (along with the rest of the 12 to whom the secret of the
                    >Kingdom of God had been revealed)--explicitly is portrayed as having faith.
                    >Thus, Mk 5:37, in context, is negative in its portrayal of Peter, James, and
                    >John.

                    Mark 4:34-41 is not a passage that singles out Peter in any way. It
                    is more negative toward the disciples generally than Matthew, but I
                    never denied that. Indeed, both are somewhat are negative (cf. Matt
                    8:26 "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?"). Thus, Mark 4:34-41
                    is not an example of Peter specifically being portrayed more negatively.

                    Yes, the woman with the hemorrhages is explicitly portrayed as having
                    faith in Mark 5:34, but also in Matt 9:22. In both gospels, the
                    disciples come out less favorably by comparison than the woman. Still,
                    Peter is not mentioned by name until afterwards at Mark 5:37 where Jesus
                    "allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John." The Matthean
                    parallel at 9:19 merely says the "disciples" before (not after as in
                    Mark) Jesus's praising of the woman. Thus, whatever force may be given
                    to the comparison of the woman's faith and the disciples, Matthew comes
                    out a bit more negative in that the disciple were mentioned immediately
                    before the praise of the woman's faith, whereas the disciple were last
                    mentioned 26 verses earlier -- quite a removal from the context.

                    The specific naming of Peter, James, and John after the woman's healing
                    in this sandwiched story play no other role than to be named as a group
                    of people selected by Jesus. Thus, I don't how their mentioning is in
                    any way negative.

                    >I think Mt omits it precisely because the reference to the three disciples
                    >in Mark is negative. Finally, the presence in Mark of Peter, James, and John
                    >at the raising of Jairus' daughter is a foreshadowing of the transfiguration
                    >scene in Mark 9:2-13, which is very negative toward the inner core of the
                    >Three, just as 9:14-29 and 48-41 are negative toward the rest of the
                    >disciples. Matthew obviously softens Mk's transfiguration story's negative
                    >portrait of the three.

                    Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see what is "very negative" in
                    the Transfiguration and how Matthew "obviously softens" the "negative
                    portrait" of Peter. Both Matthew and Mark state that Peter was afraid
                    (Mark 9:6, Matt 17:6) -- I don't think that would be viewed negatively
                    under the circumstances.

                    >> In fact, Mark
                    >> at 11:21 (withered fig tree),
                    >
                    >The presence in Mark 11:21 of Peter is, in my opinion, negative, for after
                    >Peter says, "Rabbi, look: the fig tree that you cursed has withered," Jesus
                    >answers in 11:22, "Have faith in God." Jesus then goes on to talk about not
                    >doubting and having faith in prayer, which Peter, like the rest of the 12
                    >mentioned back in 9:27 in a comparable passage, never does in Mark, at least
                    >as far as I can see (while Jesus prays later on, Peter sleeps, for
                    >instance). This passage in 11:22 also echoes, as I see it, the stilling of
                    >the storm passage, "Have you still no faith?"

                    At Mark 11:21, Peter remember about the fig tree and pointed it out to
                    Jesus -- and Jesus answer *them* (KAI APOKRIQEIS hO IHSOUS LEGEI *AUTOIS*),
                    referring to the disciples (cf. Mark 11:14). However one might view
                    Jesus's answer as a rebuke (I don't; I see it as instruction), it is
                    done to the disciples generally not to Peter specifically. Matthew,
                    on the other hand, has the disciples, not Peter specifically, ask a
                    question, which Jesus answered. Thus, I see Mark's mention of Peter
                    here as taking a leadership role that is lacking in Matthew.

                    >>13:3 (private apocalypse),
                    >
                    >Yes, Peter is present, but the point of chapter 13 is "Keep awake!" This
                    >immediately foreshadows 14:32-34, where Peter, James, and John don't--but
                    >rather fall asleep. Of course Mt would eliminate the reference to Peter in
                    >the parallel to Mark 13, precisely to eliminate some of the negative
                    >portrayal of Peter in Mk--and thus to speak better of him.

                    At Mark 13:3, Jesus predicts the Temple's destruction to Peter, James,
                    John, Andrew. In the Matthean parallel (24:3) it is to the disciples
                    generally. If Matthew wanted to eliminate the negative protrayal of
                    Peter falling asleep, would it be more effective to eliminate Matt
                    26:40 where that event occurs or to water down Peter's insider status
                    37 verses earlier? I think the purpose you have proposed for Matthew
                    is just subtle to be realistic.

                    >> and 16:7
                    >> (resurrection to Peter and the disciples) point out Peter by name,
                    >> but the Matthean parallels lack Peter's name in preference to the
                    >> disciples. Thus, Mark accords an inner circle status to Peter that
                    >> is attenuated in Matthew. The last example is important for Peter's
                    >> credentials as an apostle according to 1 Cor. qualifications of
                    >> witnessing the risen Christ. Matthew could have added a resurrection
                    >> story to Peter first as hinted by Mk16:7, but chose to recount an
                    >> appearance to the Eleven instead.
                    >
                    >I don't see anything in chapter 16 of Mk to be a hint of a resurrection
                    >appearance to Peter, for the women "said notin' to nobody." It is, rather, a
                    >very emphatic statement that Jesus' message that he was "leading" the 11,
                    >especially Peter, to Galilee (14:26ff)--as reported by the young man at the
                    >tomb (16:7)--never got to Peter and the rest. Mt omits the reference to
                    >Peter precisely to speak more positively of Peter and the Eleven than Mark,
                    >I think.

                    What about: "there you will see him, just as he told" in 16:7? That
                    has to be a hint of a resurrection appearance. At any rate, the
                    women's silence is Markan irony, because everybody knows (and knew
                    in Mark's audience) that Jesus did indeed appear to Peter and the
                    disciples. Thus, the women's failure of silence does not imply
                    that Peter and the disciples never got the word and missed out on
                    Jesus's resurrection appearance. Matthew improves the matter by
                    explicitly reciting a resurrection appear, but I can't see Matthew's
                    omission of "Peter" in favor of the disciples as a group to be
                    more positive to Peter specifically than Mark.

                    >> In one case, however, the situation (one gospel has "Peter," the other
                    >> "disciples") is reversed: at Mt15:15 Peter does not understand the parable
                    >> about what defiles, but in Mk7:17 the disciples as a whole, without naming
                    >> Peter, do not. In a special-Matthew parable (or Matthean redaction of
                    >> Q), Peter is told to forgive 77 times (18:21), followed by the parable of
                    >> the unmerciful servant. There are also curiously pro-Judaic teachings
                    >> delivered to Peter in Mt but not in Mk: 17:24f. Peter and the Temple
                    >> Tax, after Mt19:27, those who follow Jesus sit on 12 thrones.
                    >
                    >The more positive portrayal of Peter in Mt agrees with with the Temple Tax
                    >story in 17:24ff and the eschatological judgment verse in 19:28, in my
                    >opinion.

                    In Matt 17:24-27, Peter's misunderstanding of Jesus's obligation to pay
                    the tax is corrected by a miracle. Positive or negative? Beat me. The
                    judgment verse in 19:28 is more positive of the 12 disciples, but, as to
                    Peter specifically, nope.

                    >I know I haven't dealt with all of your passages, Stephen, but I'm no NT
                    >scholar. I'd have to give the others further thought.

                    Please do, I'm looking forward to it.

                    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

                    Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                    List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                  • Thomas A. Kopecek
                    ... I ve just begun to work on your analysis of the Patristic or external evidence for the authorship of the second gospel, Stephen. What you call Clement s
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 11, 2001
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                      "Stephen C. Carlson" <scarlson@...> wrote:

                      > At the turn of the third century, Clement of Alexandria related the
                      > following etiology of Mark's gospel (Eus., HE 6.14.5-7):
                      >
                      >>He said that those gospels with genealogies were published openly, 6 but
                      >>Mark had this procedure: when Peter was in Rome preaching in public the word
                      >>and proclaiming the gospel by the spirit, those present, who were many,
                      >>entreated Mark, as one who followed him for a long time and remembered what
                      >>was said, to record what was spoken; but after he composed the gospel, he
                      >>shared it with anyone who wanted it; 7 when Peter found out about it, he
                      >>did not actively discourage or encourage it;
                      >
                      > Thus, Clement stated that Mark was asked to write a gospel because
                      > he was an associate of Peter and would remember what Peter preached.
                      > What was explicit in Jerome is only implicit in Clement. Clement's
                      > remarks did not expressly say that the contents of Mark's gospel
                      > comprised the preaching of Peter, only that Mark knew what Peter
                      > preached. Clement's apology for the limited publication of the
                      > Second gospel, in contrast to the wide publication of Matthew and
                      > Luke, however, requires that Mark's gospel did contain Peter's
                      > preaching. Even so, Clement's concession that Peter did not
                      > endorse Mark's gospel is significant: it presupposes a tradition
                      > in which the gospel of Mark was disconnected from Peter.

                      I've just begun to work on your analysis of the Patristic or "external"
                      evidence for the authorship of the second gospel, Stephen. What you call
                      Clement's "concession" has me a bit puzzled. I suspect I'm not so puzzled
                      with your reconstruction as I am with Clement's comment, so I need to look
                      around a little more to see if I can make so more sense of it (and, thus,
                      your interpretation of it).

                      For while Clement is careful about the connection between Peter and Mark,
                      Justin in Dialogus cum Tryphone 106:3--without mentioning Mark
                      specifically--clearly thinks the second gospel is simply Peter's "memoirs."
                      Surely the autou following apomnemoneumasin has Petron as its antecendent
                      rather than auton (= Jesus), as the ANF has it. (Sorry: I don't know how to
                      employ the fancy set of transliteration conventions I see on NT lists.) This
                      is supported by the parallel reference to the "memoirs of the apostles" in
                      106:1: 106:1 requires the autou in 106:3 to be a possessive genitive rather
                      than an objective genitive. Since the data Justin cites in 106:3 are only in
                      Mark's gospel and not in Mt and Lk, the apostle responsible for the data is,
                      in Justin's mind, Peter--with no qualifications.

                      This evidence from Justin obviously is neutral in deciding the topic we are
                      discussing. Yet what it shows is that the connection between Peter and the
                      second gospel wasn't nuanced in all circles ca. 165, as you are suggesting
                      it was even by Clement later and by Irenaeus before him. So the trajectory
                      may be a bit more messy than you suggested in your initial post which sorted
                      out the external evidence. On the other hand, given the context in Justin's
                      Dialogue, perhaps one ought not to expect any qualifications. Would that be
                      the way you would argue?

                      Tom

                      ___
                      Thomas A. Kopecek
                      Professor of Religion
                      Central College, Pella, IA 50219
                      kopecekt@...


                      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
                    • Stephen C. Carlson
                      ... I think it is a close call on whether the AUTOU in 106:3 is subjective ( his [scil. Peter s] memoirs ) or objective ( memoirs of him [scil. Jesus ). Both
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jan 13, 2001
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                        At 10:19 PM 1/11/01 -0600, Thomas A. Kopecek wrote:
                        >For while Clement is careful about the connection between Peter and Mark,
                        >Justin in Dialogus cum Tryphone 106:3--without mentioning Mark
                        >specifically--clearly thinks the second gospel is simply Peter's "memoirs."
                        >Surely the autou following apomnemoneumasin has Petron as its antecendent
                        >rather than auton (= Jesus), as the ANF has it. (Sorry: I don't know how to
                        >employ the fancy set of transliteration conventions I see on NT lists.) This
                        >is supported by the parallel reference to the "memoirs of the apostles" in
                        >106:1: 106:1 requires the autou in 106:3 to be a possessive genitive rather
                        >than an objective genitive. Since the data Justin cites in 106:3 are only in
                        >Mark's gospel and not in Mt and Lk, the apostle responsible for the data is,
                        >in Justin's mind, Peter--with no qualifications.

                        I think it is a close call on whether the AUTOU in 106:3 is subjective
                        ("his [scil. Peter's] memoirs") or objective ("memoirs of him [scil.
                        Jesus"). Both seem to fit the context. Justin does use the genitive
                        plural as a subjective genitive earlier, but, on the other hand, except
                        for 106:3, Justin never attributes a memoir to a single person. For
                        the remainder of this post, I'll assume that you are correct.

                        >This evidence from Justin obviously is neutral in deciding the topic we are
                        >discussing. Yet what it shows is that the connection between Peter and the
                        >second gospel wasn't nuanced in all circles ca. 165, as you are suggesting
                        >it was even by Clement later and by Irenaeus before him. So the trajectory
                        >may be a bit more messy than you suggested in your initial post which sorted
                        >out the external evidence. On the other hand, given the context in Justin's
                        >Dialogue, perhaps one ought not to expect any qualifications. Would that be
                        >the way you would argue?

                        As evident from 1 Apol. 66.3 (hOI ... APOSTOLOI EN TOIS GENOMENOIS hUP'
                        AUTWN APOMNHMONEUMASIN, hA KALEITAI EUAGGELIA "the ... apostles in the
                        memoirs by them, which are called gospels"), also Dial. 100.1, the
                        term "memoir" was adopted by Justin in his works, ostensibly to non-
                        Christians, probably because they would not be familiar with the use
                        of EUAGGELION ("gospel", "good news") to signify a genre.

                        Even apart from Dial. 106.3, Justin's usage in referring to "apostles"
                        is a fudge. He used Luke several times (so Massaux), who was not
                        an apostle. I don't Justin had an intention of getting into the fine
                        distinctions for Trypho over who wrote which memoir. Justin never
                        that I'm aware of explicitly attributed any of the memoirs for Trypho
                        or in his Apologies, and the implicit attribution at Dial. 106.3 is
                        the closest he got.

                        Even so, Justin may not mess the trajectory up too much. Papias
                        (I believe by inference) attributed the contents of Mark's gospel
                        to Mark's memory of what Peter remembered and said. Thus, Mark's
                        writing down (even if years laters) of what Peter said would
                        constitute in some sense Peter's memoirs, especially in an apology
                        where making the distinction would complicate things. I don't
                        think we can press Justin to assert, as Clement was the first to
                        indicate, that Peter was actually alive when Mark wrote down what
                        Peter remembered. So, Justin in fact gives us no more than what
                        Papias or Clement gives us.

                        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

                        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
                        List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
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