Re: [Synoptic-L] Pilate and Markan posteriority
- Leonard Maluf wrote:
> The case of Simon of Cyrene is entirely different. He is introduced inMatt 27:32, it seems to me,
> with all the identifying qualification necessary for such a minorcharacter who is a nobody in terms
> of social or historical interest. "And coming out they found a Cyreneanman, named Simon.."
> What more do you want Matthew to say here to identify this fellow?Nothing; the way Matthew introduces Simon of Cyrene is not problematic in
itself, it's the comparison with Mark that raises questions (probably this
wasn't very clear from my last rather stream-of-consciousness posting
composed against the background of ambient electricians).
> And if Mark wishes to add a note showing the relationship of this man toAlexander and Rufus,
> apparently persons known to his community, that is fine too. As yousuggest, there is really
> no way in this case to prove a priority or posteriority of either Gospelnarrative with respect to the other.
No, but I think Mark's introduction of Alexander and Rufus does raise a
question. If these were persons known to his community (rather than via a
source), then presumably they must have identified themselves to the
community as the sons of the Simon of Cyrene who carried Jesus' cross, which
implies that they are potential tradents of at least part of the Passion
Narrative independent of any other source. This in turn means that Pilate
could already be familiar to Mark's community and did not need introducing
as Roman governor. To put it another way, the familiar narrative presupposed
by Mark's abrupt introduction of Pilate could be that supplied by Alexander
and Rufus rather than that supplied by Matthew. At the very least, Mark's
introduction of Alexander and Rufus suggests that he *must* have had some
source of traditions on the passion apart from Matthew and Luke. It
therefore becomes no longer merely gratuitous to propose that what Mark may
be presupposing here is a pre-Markan passion narrative rather than Matthew,
since the names Alexander and Rufus are one indication of the existence, and
possibly even the source, of such a narrative.
I appreciate that this line of argument would be vulnerable to the critic
who argues that Simon of Cyrene, Alexander and Rufus are all alike authorial
fictions, but the introduction of Alexander and Rufus by a posterior Mark
would then be a little puzzling, since it is far from clear what funtion
they would be performing; in any case, that does not appear to be your line
> The evidence for the validity of my case, then, seems to be mounting, eventhough I will admit that
> it scarcely constitutes a knock out argument for Markan posteriority. Ialso concede that our last
> series of mutual rebuttals were not worked out on a level playing field.In writing the above, I was
> happily spared the ambient inconvenience of hovering electricians.Ah, but I bet you now haven't got a nice new hole in your ceiling with a
pair of brand new wires dangling through!
Harris Manchester College, Oxford
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