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Re: [Synoptic-L] Anonymity and Judas

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  • Ron Price
    ... Kevin, Such openness is to be commended. ... Possibly so. Nevertheless some people have more bias than others. ... But by the time Mark was written ca. 70
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 24, 2001
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      Re: [Synoptic-L] Anonymity and Judas Kevin Anderson wrote:

      >I have confessional commitments that I am not ashamed of but which I realize
      >must be tempered when it comes to Biblical studies and discussions such as
      >this one.

        Such openness is to be commended.

      >In the attempt to engage in historical studies
      >materialism, positivism, existentialism, and good ol' fashioned skepticism
      >can be just as much a liability as one's theological preferences (or lack

        Possibly so. Nevertheless some people have more bias than others.

      > For Mark to have generated the stories of Peter's
      >denial and Judas' betrayal (as a vendetta or for whatever reason) would have
      >required a vast silence from anyone who knew otherwise.

        But by the time Mark was written ca. 70 CE, most of those who knew otherwise were dead and thus necessarily silent. The original group of Jesus' followers who had settled in Jerusalem would have been preoccupied, killed or scattered into exile by the Roman siege and assault on Jerusalem.
        However, suppose some visiting Galilean peasant had witnessed Jesus' arrest and knew Judas had not been present. He gets to see a copy Mark six months after it was first published in Rome and notices the inaccuracy in what we call Mark 14:43-50. How is he to protest? Explain the facts to his local Christian community? (Perhaps he did. But we'd have no way of knowing.) Ring the publishers? (No telephones then.) Write to the 'Roman Times'? (No newspapers then.)  Travel to Rome and confront the author and publishers? (But why would they believe him? In any case by that time the process of copying the gospel would have spread to other Christian communities.) The only real alternative would have been to compose and publish a more accurate version of events, in other words a rival gospel. But few people had the knowledge, skills and resources to achieve this.

        Thus correcting an inaccurate report would not have been as easy as you suppose.

      Ron Price

      Weston-on-Trent, Derby, UK

      e-mail:  ron.price@...

      Web site:  http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm
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