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[Synoptic-L] Re: The Topography of the Great Omission

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  • Eric Eve
    ... Dear Stephen, Thank your for your continuing contributions and your interesting obesrvations about the followers of John the Baptist. It seems that here is
    Message 1 of 17 , Apr 1, 2002
      Stephen Notley wrote:

      > Again, not exactly. What you and Goodacre have overlooked is probably
      > the most significant element in this story. The (reason and) timing of
      > the withdrawal and miraculous feeding occurs immediatley after John's
      > death at the hands of Antipas (tetrarch of Galilee). BTW this is why
      > the immediate travel to Bethsaida in Luke is more reasonable than Mark's
      > U-turn and return to Galilee (Antipas' tetrarchy).

      Dear Stephen,

      Thank your for your continuing contributions and your interesting
      obesrvations about the followers of John the Baptist. It seems that here is
      another point where we read the Gospel texts a little differently, for I
      would take both Mark 6.14-29 and Luke 9.7-9 to be referring to an execution
      of John the Baptist that had taken some time before (with Mark's more
      detailed account being a flashback) rather than to events that immediately
      preceded, and hence precipitated, Jesus' withdrawal.

      > (1) an understanding of geographical setting related to
      > John's ministry [e.g. A. Of the synoptic gospels only in Matthew is the
      > "wilderness" identified in "Judah."

      True enough, though Mark 1.5, which mentions the people of Jerusalem and
      Judea coming to John for baptism, could be taken as implying a Judaean
      location. I grant you, though, that John's arrest by Antipas tends to
      support your argument.

      > Moreover, Goodacre has made two assumptions that in fact create a
      > problem that is not necessitated by the text. First, as I have
      > mentioned above that the multitudes are residents of Bethsaida (and thus
      > can easily go home to get food). As explained above, I am not certain
      > this is true. Second, that Bethsaida was easily accessible. The area
      > that Nun identified is a considerable expanse. It would not have been
      > easily traversed at the end of the day.

      I don't recall Goodacre making either assumption; at least, I don't think
      either assumption is essential to his case. Goodacre's point is simply that
      at Luke 9.10 Jesus and the disciples withdraw to Bethsaida, at Luke 9.11 the
      crowds follow him (since they apparently follow him to Bethsaida presumably
      there are *not* residents of Bethsaida, and I would therefore assume
      precisely the opposite of the view you attribute to Mark Goodacre). At Luke
      9.12 the disciples tell Jesus that they are in a lonely place and need to
      send the crowd into the surrounding villages and farms for food and lodging.
      To me (and I think to Goodacre) this indicates that Bethsaida was *not*
      easily accessible, which is once again the precise opposite of the
      assumption you attribute to Goodacre here. That the area identified by Nun
      is a considerable expanse in fact helps to reinforce this point. Luke 9.11
      indeed suggests that the crowds were at a distance from Bethsaida that could
      not be easily traversed at the end of the day. Agreed - completely! But then
      Goodacre's point is that Jesus and the disciples arrive in Bethsaida at Luke
      9.10, the crowds follow him there at 9.11, and yet in 9.12 they are suddenly
      at some distance from Bethsaida. This is precisely the continuity error to
      which Goodacre is calling attention here. Far from undermining his case your
      geographical obesrvations only serve to reinforce it.

      Best wishes,

      Eric Eve
      Harris Manchester College

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