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Re: [Synoptic-L] Fatigue in Leper Story

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  • JFAlward@aol.com
    In a message dated 4/8/01 6:35:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes: ... just ... Mark s gospel is very episodic, and it is risky to
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 8 7:05 PM
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      In a message dated 4/8/01 6:35:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
      scarlson@... writes:

      << At 09:07 PM 4/8/01 EDT, JFAlward@... wrote:
      >How is Goodacre's claim that the leper met privately with Jesus more
      >justified than my claim that people from the synagogue, as well as those
      just
      >un-demonized, were standing by when the leper came to Jesus?

      Mark's gospel is very episodic, and it is risky to import
      details from one episode into a separate episode. When
      one is appropriately careful in respecting Mark's structure,
      dubious propositions, such as the one here that lepers could
      ever allowed to enter synagogues, can be avoided.

      As for Goodacre's characterization that the meeting of Jesus
      with the leper is private, I think it is important to understand
      that Mark's text is not explicit on this point (but an appropriate
      inference). It is precisely Mark's lack of explicitness that
      lulled Matthew into its redaction to add the crowds, setting up
      Matthew's later fatigue when the injunction to secrecy is made.

      Stephen Carlson
      >>
      =============
      Mark 1:39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues
      and casting out demons. 40 And a leper came…

      I recognize the unlikelihood that the leper was cured inside the synagogue,
      that's why I wrote above of people *from* the synagogue, not inside it.

      Why should we believe the leper met privately with Jesus, and that the
      synagogue teaching and the encounter with the leper were episodes so far
      removed in space and time that there would have been no onlookers from the
      synagogue? The last thing Jesus had been doing before meeting the leper was
      preaching in synagogues, presumably amazing the listeners, and casting out
      demons. Might Mark not have wished us to believe that some of these people
      would have followed Jesus and been nearby when the Jesus met the leper? Why
      must we assume that nobody was around?

      Do you believe that Mark's "lack of explicitness" gives Goodacre license to
      claim that "the leper met privately with Jesus"? It seems to me the
      justificaton for assumption is its furtherance of the case for Marcan
      priority. If it's not, then what *is* the justification?



      Regards,

      Joe Alward

      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Stephen C. Carlson
      ... Needless to say, this makes it clear that you are offering your interpretation of the text. The text does not say where the people of the synagogue are in
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 9 5:49 PM
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        At 10:05 PM 4/8/01 EDT, JFAlward@... wrote:
        >Mark 1:39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues
        >and casting out demons. 40 And a leper came…
        >
        >I recognize the unlikelihood that the leper was cured inside the synagogue,
        >that's why I wrote above of people *from* the synagogue, not inside it.

        Needless to say, this makes it clear that you are offering your
        interpretation of the text. The text does not say where the
        people of the synagogue are in relation to the leper. You have
        your inference, and Goodacre has his. The question remains,
        though, which interpretation fits best with what we already know
        of Mark's gospel and the 1st century Galilean milieu.

        >Why should we believe the leper met privately with Jesus, and that the
        >synagogue teaching and the encounter with the leper were episodes so far
        >removed in space and time that there would have been no onlookers from the
        >synagogue? The last thing Jesus had been doing before meeting the leper was
        >preaching in synagogues, presumably amazing the listeners, and casting out
        >demons. Might Mark not have wished us to believe that some of these people
        >would have followed Jesus and been nearby when the Jesus met the leper? Why
        >must we assume that nobody was around?

        It is well known since as far back as the early second century that
        Mark's gospel is largely a string of unconnected episodes. (Cf.
        Papias's apology for Mark in Eus., H.E. 3.39). Consequently, it is
        methodologically improper to impute the setting of one episode into
        another, even into a juxtaposing episode. That Mark 1:39 and 1:40
        belong to different contexts can be seen in the Discourse Segmentation
        Apparatus in the UBS GNT 4th ed. This tool shows that all major
        translations place a section break at Mark 1:40, except for RSV,
        REB, and NRSV, which use a paragraph break instead.

        >Do you believe that Mark's "lack of explicitness" gives Goodacre license to
        >claim that "the leper met privately with Jesus"? It seems to me the
        >justificaton for assumption is its furtherance of the case for Marcan
        >priority. If it's not, then what *is* the justification?

        Although Mark does not expressly state that the leper met
        privately, that is a reasonable inference from the text,
        because the text includes an injunction to secrecy and
        does not contradict a private setting. On the other hand,
        the inference that this meeting occurred inside of a
        synagogue or now, right outside of one, is not quite
        as reasonable, because it rests on the questionable
        methodological premise that one can impute the setting
        from one episode into another.

        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@...
      • Peter M. Head
        ... Is there any particular reason to assume that Mark s secrecy commands presume a private setting? It would be suprising to a reader who has just come past
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 10 2:45 AM
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          Stephen wrote:

          >Although Mark does not expressly state that the leper met
          >privately, that is a reasonable inference from the text,
          >because the text includes an injunction to secrecy and
          >does not contradict a private setting.

          Is there any particular reason to assume that Mark's secrecy commands
          presume a private setting? It would be suprising to a reader who has just
          come past 1.24f and 1.34 (cf. also 3.10-12; 5.43 [cf. 7.36 private only at
          one level]).

          If not then does Mark G's argument break down at this point?

          Peter

          Dr. Peter M. Head
          Tyndale House
          36 Selwyn Gardens
          Cambridge CB3 9BA
          Tel: 01223 566607
          Fax: 01223 566608
          email: pmh15@...



          Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
          List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
        • Maluflen@aol.com
          In a message dated 4/10/2001 5:48:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time, pmh15@cam.ac.uk writes:
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 10 4:10 AM
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            In a message dated 4/10/2001 5:48:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
            pmh15@... writes:

            << Is there any particular reason to assume that Mark's secrecy commands
            presume a private setting? It would be suprising to a reader who has just
            come past 1.24f and 1.34 (cf. also 3.10-12; 5.43 [cf. 7.36 private only at
            one level]).

            If not then does Mark G's argument break down at this point?>>


            It's interesting, I argued that Mark G's argument breaks down in almost
            exactly the opposite sense: namely, is it necessarily true that in Matt a
            crowd is presupposed within the story of the healing of the leper? The crowds
            that follow Jesus in 8:1 clearly form part of a literary framework around the
            great sermon (cf. 4:25), and the incident that begins in 8:2 with KAI IDOU...
            seems to involve an encounter between Jesus and a leper alone. On the other
            hand, it's interesting to note that almost exactly the opposite phenomenon
            occurs in the story that immediately follows (8:8-13): here, Jesus' action of
            entering Capernaum is given in the singular (nobody is said to accompany
            Jesus here), and yet, in the middle of the story, Jesus turns to address
            "those who were following [him?]" (8:10). Again, in 8:28-34, after having
            crossed the Sea of Galilee with his disciples in a boat, Jesus is described
            in apparently lone encounter with two fierce demoniacs (he alone is said to
            have arrived on the other side in 8:28, etc.; the disciples are nowhere
            alluded to in the story: see also 9:1, with singular verbs). I think we have
            to allow Matthew to involve or not involve other people within a particular
            encounter between Jesus and a beneficiary of his messianic benefits as he
            sees fit. We probably should not assume the presence of others if they are
            not in any way alluded to within the account itself. What do others think?
            (Note: The way in which Matt 8:10-12 functions within the larger pericope
            suggests to me that the "followers" here may allude more to Jewish-Christians
            of Matthew's time than to anyone present at the time of Jesus' original
            encounter with the centurion. Other than being an audience for the prophetic
            words of Jesus spoken in 10-12, these people play no role whatsoever in the
            narrative).

            Leonard Maluf

            Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
            List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
          • Brian E. Wilson
            Peter Head wrote -- ... I think Mark G s argument depends on the idea that, in Matthew s account, if there was a crowd present then the conversation between
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 10 10:54 AM
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              Peter Head wrote --
              >
              >Is there any particular reason to assume that Mark's secrecy commands
              >presume a private setting? It would be suprising to a reader who has
              >just come past 1.24f and 1.34 (cf. also 3.10-12; 5.43 [cf. 7.36 private
              >only at one level]).
              >
              >If not then does Mark G's argument break down at this point?
              >
              I think Mark G's argument depends on the idea that, in Matthew's
              account, if there was a crowd present then the conversation between
              Jesus and the leper would have been heard by the crowd, and this would
              make nonsense of Jesus' secrecy command.

              I am not sure about this assumption. A crowd would instinctively have
              kept a safe distance from a leper. They could have seen Jesus talking
              with the leper, but not heard what was said between them. The meeting
              between Jesus and the leper could have been public, but the conversation
              private, therefore.

              Today, in a game of football two players can hold a private conversation
              in public -- seen, but not heard, by thousands of spectators.

              Best wishes,
              BRIAN WILSON

              E-mail; brian@... HOMEPAGE www.twonh.demon.co.uk

              Rev B.E.Wilson,10 York Close,Godmanchester,Huntingdon,Cambs,PE29 2EB,UK
              > "What can be said at all can be said clearly; and whereof one cannot
              > speak thereof one must be silent." Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Tractatus".
              _

              Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
              List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
            • Stephen C. Carlson
              ... Although Goodacre did characterize the meeting between the leper and Jesus as private , I have preferred to focus on the fact that privacy aspect is not
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 10 2:35 PM
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                At 10:45 AM 4/10/01 +0100, Peter M. Head wrote:
                >Stephen wrote:
                >>Although Mark does not expressly state that the leper met
                >>privately, that is a reasonable inference from the text,
                >>because the text includes an injunction to secrecy and
                >>does not contradict a private setting.
                >
                >Is there any particular reason to assume that Mark's secrecy commands
                >presume a private setting? It would be suprising to a reader who has just
                >come past 1.24f and 1.34 (cf. also 3.10-12; 5.43 [cf. 7.36 private only at
                >one level]).

                Although Goodacre did characterize the meeting between the
                leper and Jesus as "private", I have preferred to focus on
                the fact that privacy aspect is not explicit in Mark 1:40-45.
                Thus, the subsequent injunction to secrecy in Mark does not
                pose the same difficulties as in Matthew, whose setting differs
                from Mark's, because Mark's setting is capable of being
                understood as a private meeting but Matthew's cannot be.

                As for your examples, I view Mark 1:24, 34, and 3:12 not so
                much as a secrecy injunction but as a demonstration of Jesus's
                control over demons, i.e. Jesus can muzzle demons. I may be
                wrong, but doesn't Mark 5:40 indicate that the injunction in
                v43 is in a private setting? Mark 7:36 is an injunction to
                the crowd (an extra element in the text that expressly negates
                a private setting), whereas Mark 1:40-45 has no such element and
                the injunction of v43 is to the leper, not any crowd.

                >If not then does Mark G's argument break down at this point?

                I'm not sure. Personally, I feel that my reformulation of
                the argument is an improvement. So this example still works
                as a case of fatigue.

                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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