[Synoptic-L] [XTalk] Thesis:Addendum-Markan Burial Stories, 6:29 and 15:46
- Ted Weeden wrote
In my recent essays in which I have begun to articulate my thesis that
the Cross Gospel as a source for composing 15:42-16:8, I have presented
for interpreting KAI EQHKEN AUTON EN MNHMEIWi ... KAI PROSEKULISEN
EPI THN QURAN TOU MNHMEIOU ("and he laid him in a tomb. . . and
stone against the entrance to the tomb") in Mk. 15:46 literally. By
I mean Joseph of Arimathea *alone* placed Jesus' body in a tomb and
stone against the entrance to the tomb. I have argued in making this
the story of Joseph of Arimathea burying Jesus needs to be interpreted
to the norms which Mark has established for his narrative world and not
interpreted by reading into Mark's narrative world inferences drawn from
real world and its norms.
This time I agree that Mark deliberately framed the story of John's
burial to call attention to the burial of Jesus in 6,29. He cited key
words: etheken auto (!) (scil. to ptoma) en mnemeioi. This is indeed
the way Mark refers to passages elsewhere, from his own writing or from
Scriptures. I wonder why you don't recognize the citations from LXX Isa
22,16 and Gen 29,2.3 . For both "the burial tomb hewn from the rock" and
the "heavy" "stone" "rolled away" are literally from those two passages?
Why the one and not the other? Mark is using the same technique for his
One should note the agreements Marks wishes to infer but also the
difference. Such as: Joseph, who came from Rama [Ramnathaim], was "a
noted member of the council" and thus an enemy of Jesus. It is an enemy
who buried Jesus' 'corpse' (ptoma- indeed he 'alone'), but in the first
case they were John's friends. Other differences are precisely the words
cited from Isaiah and Genesis "a tomb hewn from the rock" and "the stone
rolled away". Moreover, the memorial tomb of Jesus has a "door" which
the stone sealed off.
In a previous post I have explained Mark's midrash on Isa 22,16, 33,16
and Gn 29,2.3 in some detail. The upshot was that Joseph comes into
action precisely at the onset of the sabbath of Nisan 16 (the day begins
Friday at around p.m.). ACCORDING TO THE NEW PHARISAIC CALENDAR. On it
NISAN 16 IS THE FIRST DAY OF THE HARVEST. THE CHRISTIANS AND SAMARITANS
ON THE OTHER HAND STUCK TO THE OLD PRIESTLY CALENDAR OF "THE FIRST
SUNDAY AFTER PESACH" (CF LEV 23,11.15 Hebr. MIMACHAROT HA-SHABBAT). On
that Sunday the women find the memorial tomb opened.
The Pharisaic calendar was introduced before 70, when the temple still
stood and probably under Herod Agrippa (40-44 CE), who also organized a
bloody persecution of the Jerusalem christian community (Acts 12)!
Mark 3,6 is a forward flash of that event: The pharisees conspired with
the Herodians "to kill Jesus". To my understanding it was Herod who
conveniently used the Pharisaic reckoning for his own political
purposes. He prevented the apostles from proclaiming Jesus risen from
the dead "on the third day" (= Sunday, "the first day of the Shabuot").
Accoding to Acts 2 the apostles did this on Sunday, the last day of the
harvest as well to the gathered pilgrims on the temple square. In fact,
Herod's actioon - if I am right - amounted to something like an
excommunication. He not only precvented Peter from preaching he intended
to kill him and by official changing the calendar he publicly made clear
the followers of jesus were persons "non grata".
The exegesis of Isa 22, 15-25 shows that the symbolism of the memorial
tomb or monument refers to the templebuilding. The prophet finds Sebna,
a temple official there and denounces him. He tells him that he will be
defrocked and sent into exile. If indeed, the memorial tomb stands for
the doomed temple then in Mark 15 Joseph tried to bury Jesus and silence
his voice forever. .....but in vain. The next day the women received a
vision of the future just like the women in Isa 32,9ff. They see in this
vision the destruction of the temple (Gr anablepsasai}. They flee in
horror. But in the tomb they also see this "young man in white" telling
them that Jesus is "not there" - "See, the Place! (only his corpse was
buried in Zion, the Holy Place).
He is risen and goes before you into the Galil of the nations.: Indeed,
Joseph's action was in vain. Jesus' living word will be heard, for he,
the "head" is risen from the dead and the ecclesia is his living body.
The stone rolled away symbolically is a parallel to the curtain rent in
two in the crucifixion story.
One item of agreement between the two Burial stories is the person of
Herod. John was decapitated by one Herod, another Herod used the
Pharisaic calendar and turned it against the ecclesia.
So we agree and disagree. But through dialogue we may discover deeper
layers of meaning and thus hopefully we reach the layer of Mark's
original message. Every exegete knows that surely there must have been
an original meaning.
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