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Re: [Synoptic-L] Fatigue in Leper Story

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Apr 9, 2001
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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

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    • 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 2 of 9 , Apr 10, 2001
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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@...



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      • Maluflen@aol.com
        In a message dated 4/10/2001 5:48:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time, pmh15@cam.ac.uk writes:
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 10, 2001
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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 4 of 9 , Apr 10, 2001
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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".
            _

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          • 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 5 of 9 , Apr 10, 2001
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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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