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[Synoptic-L] De ira Jesu: [was: PWRWSIS...]

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  • Maluflen@aol.com
    In a message dated 4/30/2002 10:13:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time, scarlson@mindspring.com writes: To argue that an angry Jesus is the more difficult , and
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1 6:38 PM
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      In a message dated 4/30/2002 10:13:58 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      scarlson@... writes:

      << >To argue that an angry Jesus is the "more difficult", and therefore the
      >earlier reading (employing a principle of text-criticism), requires the
      >assumption of a liberal Protestant view of Jesus, whose principal duty it
      is
      >to be nice.

      Actually the assumption behind this argument is not about the
      nature of Jesus but the first century Christians's beliefs about
      his nature.>>

      Two natures, to be exact; although it is somewhat anachronistic to use this
      language for the first century. But this raises some interesting questions of
      its own with reference to the topic of anger. I assume your argument would be
      that there was an increasing tendency in the first century toward regarding
      Jesus as divine, and that this would be accompanied by the tendency on the
      part of later writers to remove such human features as anger from their
      portraits of Jesus. On the other hand, anger might in fact be attributed to
      Jesus in an antidocetic moment or move, to demonstrate the integrity of his
      human nature. For the tradition going back to Aristotle, anger is first of
      all one of the morally neutral (eleven) passions and part of the integral
      equipment of a complete animal nature, which of course, in this tradition,
      belongs generically to man as well.

      But the argument takes an even more interesting turn if anger is viewed from
      a moral perspective. The fact is that although anger seems to be acknowledged
      by NT writers as legitimate in some cases or to some degree (Eph 4:26; James
      1:19), the usual assumption is that human anger is a vice to be avoided (Eph
      4:31; Col 3:8;
      1 Tim 2:8; James 1:19-20). This negative view of anger comes from the
      tradition of the sayings of Jesus (Matt 5:22), but it is entirely possible
      that in some instances the prohibition against anger has been influenced as
      well by popular Stoic views current at the time of early Christianity. The
      one place where NT authors seem to agree in using the terminology of anger
      without the slightest negative moral connotation is when they apply it to God
      (Matt 3:7; 18:34; Lk 3:7; 14:21; 21:23; Jn 3:36; Rom 1:18; 2:8 and passim;
      Heb 3:11; 4:3; Rev 19:15, etc.). Since it is unlikely that Mark, in
      portraying Jesus as angry, intends to present him as morally vicious or even
      deficient, the alternative is to see anger attributed to Jesus as a way of
      associating Jesus closely with God (cf. Rom 13:4; and especially compare Rev
      6:16 and 19:15). This means that Mark may here be showing a developing sense
      of Jesus' divinity, over and above the already high view of Jesus found in
      his gospel sources -- which fits well with a late Mark.

      >The "lectio difficilior lectio potior" argument here is considerably
      weakened
      >by the widely recognized fact that it is Mark's specific redactional
      >intention, for whatever reason, to denigrate the disciples. For this
      reason,
      >I think the use of this text-critical principle to argue this particular
      case
      >is especially inappropriate.


      <>

      There are no issues of circularity in coming to that conclusion. The
      conclusion is reached quite firmly by a synchronic reading of Mark.

      Leonard Maluf

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