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Re: [XTalk] Re: [Synoptic-L] Thesis: Mark Used Cross Gospel in 15:42-16:8, Pt.1

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  • Karel Hanhart
    ... Ted, You ask me what methodology I use. Briefly, the same methodology as you use. Applying techniques we have learnt: f.i. text criticism, form criticism;
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 8, 2002
      Ted Weeden wrote in response to what:

      > Karel Hanhart wrote on Tuesday, January 29, 2002:
      > Karel, I would appreciate your sharing with me the methodology you use for
      > determining whether Mark is involved in a midrashic hermeneutic of a LXX text.
      > Could you share that methodology with me and tell me what you perceive to be
      > Mark's methodology with respect to deciding when a midrash on a LXX text is
      > needed and when it is not, as well as how you know that a present-day
      > interpreter is not reading a LXX connection into a Markan, a connection Mark may
      > not have considered himself?
      > > Tell me, why did the editors refer to all possible references in
      > > Mark to the LXX and why did they ignore this last one? Is perhaps the reason
      > that
      > > the idea of an empty tomb has become so deeply ingrained in the Western mind
      > that a
      > > possible reference to Isaiah is simply ignored? They ought to have a good
      > reason for
      > > the omission.
      > I do not know the answer to your question. I suspect the editors of the Nestle
      > text, as well as translations of the Greek text, cite the obvious references or
      > allusions to the LXX in the New Testament. By the way Robert Gundry (_Mark_)
      > does state on p. 982, with respect to 15:46, thus: "Mark describes the tomb as
      > 'hewn out of rock' (cf. Isa 22:16)." So you are not alone in seeing a
      > connection between 15:46 and Isa. 22:16.


      You ask me what methodology I use. Briefly, the same methodology as you use.
      Applying techniques we have learnt: f.i. text criticism, form criticism; redaction
      criticism, rhetorical analysis; synchronic reading and diachronic reading etc.
      But I would like to call attention to what I would call the Judean approach to
      Scripture. I ask myself: how would a first century Judean view the world in his/her
      day and in what way would
      they make use of the Scriptures to express this view.
      We exegetes, existentially have this in common : we are engaged in digging for the
      roots of the christian faith. Most of us, that is. The great majority of
      interpreters of the Gospel, I suspect, have decided to pursue our difficult and
      precarious task because of a search for truth related to our own
      tradition, be it Catholic, Orthodox, or the various branches of Protestantism.
      Many of us would call themselves "agnost", others are prepared to defend their own
      tradition, few would say they are atheist.
      I regard it essential to do our digging in openminded dialogue with fellow
      diggers of a different tradition. The more one is willing to forego an entrenched
      position once one has been persuaded by the arguments of a fellow exegete (no matter
      how painful the change of heart), the more one reaches a deeper level of the meaning
      of the text. In the case of the open-tomb-story this change of heart is not a light
      matter, for it concerns the concept of resurrection; a fundamental issue. In my
      experience I have learnt more from Catholic scholars than from fellow Reformed
      exegetes. This is not because Catholics are necessarily better scholars; it is
      because I had less trouble sympathizing with the views of Protestant scholars with
      regard to Mt 16,16-18, of the witness to Mary, than with Catholics. But precisely in
      dialogue with them one discovers aspects of historical truth one had not as yet
      discovered. I I have had the privilege to work extensively with them and with
      Jewish scholars, especially in studying Judaica. Saying that Catholic, Jewish and
      Protestant scholars each have their own agenda, is kicking in an open door. One
      soon discovers how little knowledge most Protestants have of Patristics, or of the
      value of liturgy and sacraments, how deeply we Presbyterians have been influenced by
      John Calvin e.g. In dialogue with Jewish scholars one must learn to accept that they
      start their archeological dig from a different angle and with a different
      motivation. But our fellow Jewish diggers are also existentially motivated to
      discover the historical and spiritual truths (and lies) of faith and life in the
      first century province of Judea.
      Briefly, in my career as interpreter, I regard the scholarly dialogue in stead
      of arguing from an entrenched position as the most fruitful 'method' of interpreting
      the Gospel. I regard the dialogue with Jewish scholars as the most important aspect
      of our work. The study of Judaica is a long and arduous task; I am convinced it
      will bear rich fruit. Perhaps, you'll understand better why I objected to terms
      like "scouring the LXX to find terms to piece together in such patch-like
      fashion?". But you already expressed regret of having used the term scouring.

      I trust you agree with the need for a scholarship in dialogue..

      your Karel

      In a following post I will try to elaborate further why I believe Mark conveyed his
      convictions in 15,42-16,8 through midrash. .


      Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
      List Owner: Synoptic-L-Owner@...
    • Karel Hanhart
      ... Ted, Yes, I have read your exposé and I reached the very opposite conclusions. And both interpretations are based on the same texts of Mark. With one
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 23, 2002
        > Ted Weeden wrote in response to what:
        >> Karel Hanhart wrote , January 29, 2002:
        >> Karel, while we agree on the approximate date of Mark, we hold quite
        >> different
        >> views with regard to the Markan provenance.
        >> Again, I have developed a position which places the Markan community
        >> in the
        >> village region of Caesarea Philippi. I referred in my post to you
        >> where that
        >> position can be located, namely, in my essay, "Guidelines for
        >> Locating the
        >> Markan Community," Kata Markon (2/29/00); XTalk (2/29/00; Archives
        >> #3913). I
        >> interpret Mark as being a Galilean, or Galilean sympathizer, who is
        >> strongly
        >> anti-Judean. I do not mean *anti-Jewish.* Mark is opposed to the
        >> cultic
        >> ideology of Judean Judaism and its Temple establishment, as well, in
        >> my view, as
        >> the Jerusalem Church which has "sold out" under James and the
        >> tradition of the
        >> cohort of the Twelve to the Judean orientation.

        Yes, I have read your exposé and I reached the very opposite
        conclusions. And both interpretations are based on the same texts of
        Mark. With one distinct difference in approach. You believe Mark knew a
        so-called Cross Gospel, which Crossan distilled from the second century
        Gospel of Peter and which in the judgment of many is inauthentic.
        (a) It is written in the "I" form. (I, Peter, saw...). To me, Crossan
        circumvented the interpretation of Mark's opened tomb story by claiming
        that Mark made use of this supposedly earlier Cross Gospel. In this
        strongly anti-judaic Gospel of Peter (including the Cross Gospel -
        distillate, Jesus is pictured as leaving the tomb accompanied by two
        other figures in the face of guards. Judean bystanders bemoan the fact
        that Jerusalem will be destroyed because of their sins. Does it not
        appear to be a second century hotch-potch of themes taken from the
        Synoptics and especially from John? (Compare the use of hoi ioudaioi)
        To me Mark is (a) the John Mark of the Epistles and Acts, born and
        raised in Jerusalem, {who must have mourned the fall of Jerusalem), the
        interpreter of Peter. Hence both knew each other in Rome where Peter
        died, as I Clement states.
        (b) In Mark's haggadah, Simon Peter's confession is made just before
        the scene on the Mount of Transfiguration. The confession is made at the
        most Northern part of the Gospel's geography, from where Jesus' paschal
        pilgrimage to Jerusalem begins. I believe Mark deliberately chose that
        site because of its name Caesarea Philippi. It means the 'Imperial
        Philippi'. Peter makes his confession in Caesar's territory, thus
        foreshadowing his apostolic mission in the imperial city of Rome. But,
        writes Mark, Peter also stood in Jesus' way; he first needed to learn to
        follow Jesus on the "way" to the Cross. This exegesis is confirmed in
        the Transfiguration scene, where Peter wants to build three tents and
        remain on the mountain (of eternal bliss). The readers are thus prepared
        by Mark to accept the period of suffering that will come (13,9). But
        they ought to be able to accept sufferings in the future in the faith
        and hope of resurrection (9,9).
        (c) Mark's Passover Haggadah was written for the liturgical season of
        Pesach and Shabuoth (the 50 days of Pentecost). The contrast of Galilee
        and Judea - so evident in this Gospel - runs parallel, I believe, with
        the Jewish festival calendar. The events in Jerusalem are set in the
        context of Passover (Pesach), the opened tomb story on the First of the
        fifty days of Pentecost (Shabuoth). The latter is a harvest festival.
        Now as Papias already noted, Mark didn't follow the correct "order",
        taxis of the Judean festivals. The Greek word taxis was also used for
        the order in a religious festival. Papias' remark is relevant for the
        entire structure of Mark, divided into a Galilean and Judean section.
        Whereas the women see the vision of the opened tomb on the "first"
        of the fifty days of Pentecost, the BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL deals with
        the theme of harvest; in it the "harvest" of Jesus' preaching and deeds
        is reaped in Galilee and beyond. The healings are performed among
        Judeans and Gentiles.
        This the arresting phenomenon is that the Gospel ENDS on a Sunday,
        the first day of the harvest AND IT BEGINS on that same Sunday, the
        "first day" (arche). The long speech in chpt 4 deals also with the theme
        seed and harvest, while the long speech in chpt 13 deals with wars and
        suffering prior to the passion story proper. "Arche" in 1,1 is also
        related to the first day of creation, of course, remembered and
        celebrated on the agricultural first day of Shabuoth.
        A number of scholars have rightly suggested that the sudden ending
        of his Gospel ("he goes before you into Galilee") induces the reader to
        think back of what Jesus had accomplished in Galilee and therefore, look
        forward with confidence what the risen Jesus will accomplish among
        Judeans and Gentiles in the period of exile ahead.
        So the structure of the Gospel tells me, that in Mark's Judea,
        especially Jerusalem with its temple, is associated with the
        foundational theme of Pesach (the paschal lamb and the exodus) and
        Galilee is associated with the festival of Shabuot of the "first
        fruits". The first astounding deeds of Jesus, illustrating his teaching
        (1,27!) takes place "en tois sabbasin", that is during Shabuoth, the
        seven Pentecostal weeks [not on the sabbath day]..

        Ted Weeden wrote also:

        I think Crossan does make it clear why CG and John depict Jesus dying
        on Nisan 14 and Mark, Matthew and Luke on Nisan 15.. Since the
        disciples did not know when Jesus was crucified (see my response below)
        Crossan notes that, since

        >> no one knew exactly when Jesus was crucified, the next best option
        >> was to choose
        >> a date during the Passover that had symbolic theological meaning

        I find it difficult to believe that "the disciples did not know when
        Jesus was crucified". This statement is not supported by any textual
        data. Must I believe that the disciples were so uninterested that none
        of them inquired what happened when their beloved teacher was executed
        and on what day it happened? I rather take it that Pilate was shrewd
        enough to have Jesus executed on the very day that the city was filled
        with pilgrims attending the festival of Pesach. His false charge of a
        supposed claim by Jesus to be "king of the Judeans" would have its
        greatest impact on the population on Passover Day. All three synoptics
        claim it was on Passover Day, Nisan 15. The Nisan 14 date of the Cross
        Gospel was simply an echo of the Johannine dating. John as the last one
        of the four wrote a "spiritual Gospel", meditating on the other three.
        John wanted to focus on the theological theme that Jesus died as "the
        Lamb of God", hence he altered the date to Nisan 14, the day on which
        the paschal lamb ought to be slaughtered. In fact, his Gospel might be
        termed a theological treatise on the teachings of the Synoptic Gospels.

        >> . So the
        >> "_Cross Gospel_ had Jesus crucified on the eve of the [Passover]
        >> festival [Nisan
        >> 14] primarily with an eye on Amos 8:9-10 according to which the
        >> feast itself
        >> would be turned into mourning. Mark, however, wanted a paschal
        >> meal between
        >> Jesus and the disciples and had, therefore, to place the Crucifixion
        >> on the
        >> Passover Day."
        1 Cor 11,23ff shows that a paschal meal was held at a very early date.
        Surely, this paschal meal was held in the le'l shime'rim , Passover
        night following Nisan 14, introducing Passover Day It is not convincing
        at all that Mark "wanted a paschal meal between Jesus and the disciples"
        (you probably mean the flight of the disciples?), thus making up a date
        of the crucifixion on Nisan 15.
        Scholars believe that before the year 70 the old priestly calendar,
        - with the First Day of Pentecost always falling on a Sunday -, was
        changed in favor of the Pharisaic calendar, - the First Day was fixed on
        Nisan 16, no matter what day of the week it would fall. In the synagogue
        this new Pharisaic dating of Nisan 16 of the "First Day of the harvest"
        is still followed, while the Christian Judeans insisted on the Sunday
        after Pesach according to the commandment in Lv 23,15. So according to
        Mark's narrative Jesus was buried on Nisan 16 (the Pharisaic date for
        the beginning of the harvest) while the women see on the Sunday that the
        stone was rolled away and hear the message that Jesus was raised on the
        true First Day of the harvest (Shabuoth). Interestingly, harvest
        terminology is used when the mystery of resurrection is discussed. As
        Paul writes Jesus was raised "the first fruits of those who have died".

        Ted also wrote

        >> The most plausible series of historical events, as I reconstruct
        >> what happened, is that Jesus conducted his anti-cultic demonstration
        >> at the Temple during the Passover festival. For him
        >> to have engaged in such a provocative act as that at Passover, with
        >> Pilate
        >> always hyper-sensitive at any suggestion of sedition--- to say
        >> nothing of the
        >> rage the Temple authorities must have had toward such an offense
        >> against the
        >> cultic system--- it is logical to assume that Jesus was arrested
        >> immediately by
        >> the Temple guard, turned over to the Romans and summarily executed,
        >> without
        >> trial or anything like it

        Anyone can make a "plausble" reconstruction of what one thinks happened.
        But the interpreter should start with the texts themselves. I find the
        Nisan 15 date of the Synoptics more plausible, because Nisan 14 would
        theologically speaking have been much more attractive for these early
        authors. For Jesus' crucifixion was interpreted in terms of the paschal
        lamb, when these lambs were slaughtered in the temple. However, these
        authors stuck to the historical date of the public crucifixion on Nisan
        15. Anyone who was the least bit interested in this public event , was
        in the position to verify the accuracy of that date. John, the author f
        the Fourth Gospel demonstrates to have highly theological reasons for
        altering the date.
        Sorry, for taking up so much space. But the issue of the argument is
        important for the interpretation of Mark..

        your Karel


        Synoptic-L Homepage: http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/synoptic-l
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