Re: [Synoptic-L] Mk 3:31-35 pars. on the GH
- Leonard Maluf wrote:
> Mark's version of the story is a Gospel dramatization in whichI take it that "the reader" here is one reading Mark's Gospel aloud to an
> Jesus" coalesces in dramatic terms with the reader of Mark's
> gospel, and Jesus' original audience coalesces with the ecclesial
> audience of Mark, the crowd SITTING AROUND HIM (an expression
> found twice in Mk 3:31-35 and not at all in the pars.) in a
> circle, listening to the Gospel (as they await Baptism?).
> The reader surveys this seated audience (thus acting out
> the Gospel story) even as he describes Jesus doing the same
> with the crowds around him, and then pointedly declares these
> very people in front of him to be Jesus' new family.
audience (this is pretty apparent from what you wrote, but I was misled on
first reading). That said, I'm broadly happy with your reading of Mark here;
I also think his Gospel operates on two levels, much in the way you describe
at this point.
> Because Mark's audience is Gentile, a new semantic valenceBut here I'm not so convinced. I'm not saying that Mark *can't* be read this
> may attach to the original reference to Jesus' family by
> this time: they come now to symbolize those related to Jesus
> by blood in a more general way, the Jewish people, or perhaps
> the Jewish Christian community of Jerusalem, the mother church.
> (This semantic development is probably already present in Luke's
> text as well). Mark's text does not deny family-of-Jesus status
> to these, but extends it pointedly to the new Gentile audience
> of his Gospel.
way, but I don't see anything in the text that *demands* or even *strongly
suggests* this interpretation. Perhaps I'm missing your point somewhere, but
to me your argument almost looks circular: because Mark is a later text
aimed at Gentiles, the relatives of Jesus are a cipher for the Jewish people
in general, which shows that Mark is a later text further removed from the
events it purports to relate (than Matthew). I think I'd need mush stronger
evidence from the text of Mark's Gospel that Mark intended to identify
Jesus' relatives with the Jewish people in general before I could find this
argument at all convincing.
> Put in other words, in Matt, the primary contrast is between two setsWell, I'd first need convincing that for Mark Jesus' family = the Jewish
> of Jewish people, the blood relatives of Jesus, on the one hand,
> and the Jewish disciples of Jesus who are said to be his new family
> on the other. Matt 12:50 opens the perspective to a possibly still
> more comprehensive audience. By the time you come to Mark's text,
> it is the Gentile audience of Mark that are (by dramatic implication)
> directly contrasted with the "family" of Jesus, which now symbolizes
> the Jewish people, or Jewish Christians. Thus understood, Mark's text
> seems to be furthest from the likely historical event and closest
> to the ecclesial application of the traditional Gospel story that
> narrated this event.
people or Jewish Christians. Even if that were the case, I'm not sure it
would be a very strong indicator of relative dating. If we accept that
Matthew was written for a (broadly) Jewish audience and Mark for a (broadly)
Gentile audience, then it would hardly be surprising if Mark was more
exercised by a distinction between Jews and Gentiles and Matthew more
exercised by a distinction between different types of Jew. So all this
really boils down to is that Matthew and Mark were written for different
target audiences. From our previous exchanges I get the impression (please
correct me and forgive me if I'm wrong) that you think that it is a priori
more likely for a gospel aimed at Jews to be earlier than one aimed at
Gentiles; if that is the case I simply disagree, *unless* you can also
provide good arguments for a very early dating of Matthew, perhaps earlier
even than Paul's letters to Gentile churches (I'm sure you catch my drift).
Of course it may well be that you have such arguments and simply haven't
stated them yet.
Harris Manchester College, Oxford
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