Mk. 3:28-29 and the Scribal chrage against Jesus
- The recent Crosstalk thread on blasphemy brought to mind some questions
I've for some time been entertaining regarding the Markan Jesus'
labeling as blasphemous, and as earning them "no forgiveness", the
Scribes' charge that Jesus acts in collusion with the prince of demons
(Mk. 3:28-29; cf. Mk. 3:22).
It is not so much the charge of blasphemy that bothers me, but the
accusation that because of their proclamation of Jesus being in league
with the prince of demons the Scribes have earned the refusal of
forgiveness EIS TON AIWNA. Surely, if the scribes are venting their
opinion regarding what they honestly see as the power behind Jesus
exorcisms -- a view which would not be hard to come by honestly in that,
given how Jesus seems prior to Mk. 3:20-30 to be calling Israelites to
engage in breaking Sabbath and purity laws, Jesus seems to be the false
prophet of Deut. 13--, then Jesus' designation of the degree of their
blameworthiness is way out of proportion to the "crime" in which they
have taken part. So does not Jesus' accusation imply that something more
sinister is going on here -- that the Scribes are consciously engaging
in "dirty tricks", that is to say, that they are not only intentionally
trying to blacken Jesus' name with a charge of witchcraft, but that they
do this in *full knowledge* that what they say is *not* the truth?
This, of course, would imply that the enemies of Jesus are privy to the
"messianic secret". But isn't this what James Robinson argued anyway
with respect to the enemies when he noted (_The Problem of History in
Mark_) the similarities between Mark's portrayal of the debates/conflict
stories and the exorcisms?
Jeffrey B. Gibson
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626