[Synoptic-L] Re: [XTalk] ANQRWPOI in the Gospel of Mark
----- Original Message -----
From: Jeffrey B. Gibson <jgibson000@...>
To: Crosstalk2 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Kata Markon <gmark@...>; Synoptic-L
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2003 9:43 PM
Subject: [XTalk] ANQRWPOI in the Gospel of Mark
> What if anything is there in Mark's Gospel that might
> support the idea that for Mark the term ANQRWPOI is a reference to, or
> a cipher for, or in some way synonymous with, the Jewish leaders who,
> according to Mark, oppose Jesus?
This important question is a difficult one to answer. Jeffrey's
startingpoint is, - rightly I think -, Peter's disdain for a suffering
I believe we can be more precise. Peter's thinking regards 'ta twn
anthrwpwn' which stands in immediate contrast to 'ho huios tou anthrwpou',
the word 'anthrwpos' creating the parallel. The 'huios tou anthrwopou'
the arresting article: the 'son of THE man) apparently does NOT think 'ta
Peter is unwilling to accept the inevitable, that the 'huios tou
anthrwpou' MUST suffer. This 'dei' (must) is paradoxical. For Peter's
reaction is a rational, human one, hence 'TA TWN ANTHRWPWN'. The saying that
the Godsent eschatological 'huios TOU ANTHRWPOU' (the Human One) must
suffer, die and rise is therefore self-contradictory. As Carlson underlined,
"for humans it is impossible". Yet this suffering and death is within the
of God and therefore the predictions end with an humanly impossible ",,,and
after three days rise again".
So Jeffrey's question is intimately related to this enigmatic
eschatological 'Human One' (Son of Man) in the Gospel.
In the term 'ho huios tou anthrwpou' two biblical concepts are combined.
(a) The strange article in 'the son of THE
man' refers to Adam before the fall in the Genesis story. Adam is named in
the LXX 'ho anthrwpos', untill the Fall.After ther Fall the name Adam
(Joel Marcus). (b) In the Gospel the expression 'ho huios tou anthrwpou'
clearly refers to Dan 7,13. Note f.i. Jesus' confession before Caiaphas in
Mk 14 and the 'desolating sacrilege' in 13,14.
In Daniel the 'bar nasj' is a collective term, refering (a) to a
Messianic.redeemer 'like Adam' , a Human One, to whom all dominion will be
given in the near future and (b) the 'saints of the Most High' who will
share in this dominion. Thus in the passion predictions Jesus does not say
"I" must suffer but the "Human One" must suffer. Mark rewrote a Passover
Haggadah, a tragic/victorious story, in which key events in Israel's history
of the past four decades, including persecution of the apostles, mission
among the Gentiles and the fall of Jerusalem -, are referred to in light of
the ministry of the Baptist and of the ministry and passion of Messiah
Jesus. Mark chose the form of a Greek national tragedy, but its content is a
Judean pass-over narrative. In Daniel 7 the God sent Messiah, the 'Human
One', is promised in spite of the four worldpowers that like ferocious
creatures dominated and at times persecuted the people: Egypt,
Babylon/Persia, burgeoning Rome and Hellenic Syria. The
Maccabean victory greatly enhanced this pre-Maccabean prophecy with its
parousia expectation of justice and glory. This apocalyptic prophecy was
still much alive as Judean apocalyptic literature demonstrates. Mark 8,38
testifies that the Jesus of history himself related his ministrry to the
coming of the Human One. In Dan 7,13ff this 'Human One', of course, does not
suffer.The dominion, the power and the glory will be given this 'Human One'
who comes with the clouds. In this seminal messianic vision the burning hope
for the appeaance of a Godsent, eschatological 'last Adam' is awakened
Now Mark is the first post-70 Christian Judean who introduced the
theologoumenon of a SUFFERING last Adam. He was confronted with the
breakdown of the imminent parousia expectation. It must be remembered that
religion and national political hopes were much more intertwined than is the
case in modern nations of the West.
Thus Gibson's suggestion may be narrowed down within the framework of Mark's
Pass-over Haggadah . Mark had a series of highpriestsn in mind, such as
Caiaphas and Matthias, high priest under Herod Agrippa (Acts 12!) who were
thinking 'ta twn anthrwpwn' in that .they had
condemned Jesus and persecuted the apostles and thus in Mark's mind had
brought doom on the entire nation.
The triple passion prediction concerning the Human One is Mark's
christological theme, as is widely ackowledged (8,31; 9.31; 10,33f). It
forms the plot of the haggadah. The passion story later unfolds exactly as
predicted by Jesus, along the lines of condemnation,.mocking, spitting,
flogging and 'handing over' to the nations (10,33), Now the plural
'highpriests' stands out as well as the 'handing over' to the 'nations'
(!).The plot does not only refer to the Messiah, but to his people as well
during the four decades. The apostles too will drink the cup, they must know
that 'no stone will be left on the other'. They should understand that not
only the 5000 were fed (Israel), but also the 4000 (the nations).The
Haggadah is concentrated on the last passion week told as one terse
messianic PASS-OVER story, offfering a theodicy of the 'why' of the
crucifixion, the tremple's destruction and the new exile.
The key to the 'must' of the suffering last Adam is found in the 'mystery'
Rom 11,25, in the letter Paul sent to Rome. Mark had studied it there and
referred to it in 4,10-12. The 'hardening of a part of Israel (the
highpriests and themple authorities, was necessary and the Huiman One must
suffer (dei), sothat the Gentiles may 'come in' . It is this theodicy,
adapted from Paul, that Mark as the first Christian Judean put forward to
explain the tragedy of the destruction of the Temple and the new Exile.
Hence the promise ny the angel, "he will go before you in the Galil
At the time of the crucifixion, there was only one highpriest , Caiaphas,
whom Mark does NOT mention by name. So why the plural? Mark clearly and
repeatedly states that highpriests (plural) were responsible. Thus
Jeffrey's toying with 'temple authorities' appears to meet Mark's
intentions. (As I see it, the highpriets belonging to the 'house of Annas',
such as Caiaphas and Matthias under Herod Agrippa (Acts 12!) were
historically reponsible for the persecution of Jesus' and his movement).
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