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Re: [Synoptic-L] Pilate and Markan posteriority

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  • Eric Eve
    ... Matt 27:32, it seems to me, ... character who is a nobody in terms ... man, named Simon.. ... Nothing; the way Matthew introduces Simon of Cyrene is not
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 16, 2002
      Leonard Maluf wrote:

      > The case of Simon of Cyrene is entirely different. He is introduced in
      Matt 27:32, it seems to me,
      > with all the identifying qualification necessary for such a minor
      character who is a nobody in terms
      > of social or historical interest. "And coming out they found a Cyrenean
      man, 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 to
      Alexander and Rufus,
      > apparently persons known to his community, that is fine too. As you
      suggest, there is really
      > no way in this case to prove a priority or posteriority of either Gospel
      narrative 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
      of argument.

      > The evidence for the validity of my case, then, seems to be mounting, even
      though I will admit that
      > it scarcely constitutes a knock out argument for Markan posteriority. I
      also 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!

      Best wishes,

      Eric Eve
      Harris Manchester College, Oxford

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