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Re: [Synoptic-L] Papias & Mark (Again)

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  • 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 1 of 10 , Jan 3, 2001
      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 2 of 10 , Jan 11, 2001
        "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 3 of 10 , Jan 13, 2001
          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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