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Re: [Synoptic-L] another response to Hanhart

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  • Karel Hanhart
    ... From: Maluflen@aol.com To: k.hanhart@net.hcc.nl ; Synoptic-L@bham.ac.uk Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 3:57 AM Subject: [Synoptic-L] another response to
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 25, 2003
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      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 3:57 AM
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] another response to Hanhart

      In a message dated 11/24/2003 8:30:39 AM Pacific Standard Time, k.hanhart@... writes:
      Sorry, Leonard, I omitted deleting the words "Maluflen wrote" in my previous message. It was I, not you, who wrote them and later expanded on them. So, please, ignore the sentence "Maluflen wrote", as still written below. 
      Maluflen wrote:

      The secret motif is primarily Markan. In the dilemma Markan or
      Matthean priority, therefore, one should prefer Markan priority.

      If these are my words, then I shall have to get started writing my book of Retractationes.

      Karel's reply:
      No Retractationes are needed.
      Mark starts out with a midrash (a combination of three passages of Tenach): Exod 23,20; Mal 3,1, Isa 40,3. The passage
      of Mal stands out being a post-70 insertion of a proto-Markan document. the insertion re. the coming purification of the temple priests as by the refiner's fire, a foreboding omen of the year 70. At key instances the shadow of 70 falls over the gospel story and forms part of the secrecy motif in Mark underlined by the silence of the women in Mark 16,8. In Mt 3,3 this complex midrash (including Mark's strange reference to Mal 3,1, attributed to Isaiah !) has become a simple reference to Isa 40,3 alone. It is unlikely that the proto-Markan reference would have been Mt 3,3. In 3,3  Matthew clearly corrects  Mark 1,5 concerning the geographical order: First "Jerusalem", then "Judea". then "all the region along the Jordan". He also corrects Mark's exaggerated "hoi Ierosolumitai PANTES".
      Leonard wrote:
      Much more likely that this is just one more example of Markan universalization. I gave three examples of this the other day, and I am sure there are more. Here too Matthew's text is closer to the LXX originals, although only in virtue of his use of the explicit personal pronoun EGW, found in two of his LXX sources. (Mark copies quite literally here, apart from this one word).
      Karel's reply:
      Agreed. Apart from a proviso (which LXX version did Mark have?), Matthew indeed appears to improve the - in my book - underlying version of Mark by adding 'ego'. I am not denying that Matthew is a precise scribe and in several instances, such as Mt 11,10, he reproduces the better citation. However, 'ego apostello' or 'apostello' have the same meaning except for emphasis. 
       Matt 11:10 combines Exod 23:20 and Mal 3:1. That is why it is introduced not by a reference to a particular prophet, but rather by the simple PERI hOU GEGRAPTAI.
      Mark combined this text with what he found in Matt 3:3, without having taken the trouble (a questionable assesment. KH) to look up Matthew's sources in 11:10. Thus the inaccurate attribution in Mark 1:2, based on the citation in Matt 3:3.
      Karel's reply:
      Here we differ concerning the nature of Mark's midrash. He calls attention to Malachi's prophecy by not naming Malachi but only the well known Isaiah passage. He wants at the outset to refer in a cryptic way to 70  as he will do again in his closing midrash in the epilogue. An open and clear reference to 70 was dangerous in Rome after the Judean revolution.
       The nature of Mark's midrash should be read in the context of his radical, contemporary, POST-70 revision of an earlier document (re. Isa 40,3) concerning the "good news" from JERUSALEM. In this earlier document Isaiah's prophecy had been used to provide a prophetic foundation for the "good news"  concerning the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus (e.g. Rom 10,15 f) . The contemporary nature of Mark's midrash is his wanting to add a deeper meaning to the idea "gospel from Jerusalem" by COMBINING it with Mal 3,1.  After the terrible disaster of 70, the downfall of Jerusalem, mourned by all Judeans, Mark could not simply repeat the word euaggelion. It would sound harshly in the ears of every first century Jew as a flat and brutal assertion: "good news from Jerusalem".  Nevertheless, he wanted to include that disaster in his belief that God would be able to turn it for good as he had done with the brutal crucifixion of Jesus by Pilate. Thus Mark still maintained the pre-70 term Gospel, even adding it to the saying of loosing one's life for the sake of Jesus ("and for the Gospel's sake"), which he found in the earlier document (Mk 8,35, cmp also 10,29). Matthew,however, would no longer use this typical Markan use of the word euaggelion in a prophecy concerning Jerusalem. He shied away from Mark's emphasis and prefered using "good news" with reference to " divine kingship" (basileisa; 11,65; 9,35; 24,14).     
      Mark found his deeper meaning in his answer to the traumatic and unforeseen delay of the parousia: "first the Gospel must be preached to all nations" (13,10).  Matthew omitted (!) Mark 13,10 at this point (Mt 24,18). But Mark's explanation was inspired by Paul's letter to the Romans (esp. the 'musterion' of the Messianic secret in Rom 11,25; cf. 4,11). 
       Matthew knew the earlier document (proto-Mark) as well as he knew Mark's post-70 revision thereof. Matthew clearly did not want to commence his gospel with Mark's cryptic midrash. He had a structure in mind different from the relatively short, newly devised Passover Haggadah of Mark, which was focussed on the liturgy of the Passover season. Matthew, of course, could count on knowledge of Mark in other ecclesial centres and therefore could afford to improve, expand and correct Mark focussing also on Jesus' teaching. Now, in the earlier, proto Mark document Maleachi 3,1 had served to describe John the Baptist as the new Elijah, as Mt 11,10 demonstrates.  Mark's contemporary post 70 opening statement is threefold:
      (a) Mark signals in this midrash that the "good news" concerning Jesus, the crucified one, ALSO includes the destruction of the temple. God will be able to turn  evil to good. His is a theodicy. 
      (b) John the Baptist was the "messenger (aggelos)", prophesied by Moses, he was "the voice crying in the wilderness (with good news) in Isaiah".
      (c) And the "way" that had to be prepared, was prepared by Jesus alone; it was in Mark's eyes the true way for God's people. Mark adds "sou" (your way) for emphasis. It concerns the promise to his people, Mark's Gospel has properly been typified as THE WAY.  It is the reason why the word "euthus",  typical for Mark, occurs frequently in his Gospel, especially in his first chapters. The double meaning of "euthus" was derived from the adjective "eutheias", meaning level, mentioned in the opening verses "make 'straight' his paths" (Mc 1,3). . Mark chose this adverb 'euthus' on purpose because of this added reference to 1,3. Jesus was 'straightforward' and 'immediate' in his preparing the "way" in Galilee, which was the way determined by God. So e.g. the Dutch scholar Hemelsoet.
      Mark's Gospel shows no interest whatever in a "coming purification of the temple priests" by a refiner's fire. At the least the refiner's fire is prominently displayed in Matt 3:11-12, but the entire fire theme is notable for its absence in the Markan parallel.
      Karel's reply:
      You will find it difficult to maintain Mark's disinterest in the "coming purification of the temple priests". Jesus' prophetic deed in the temple *you have made it a den of revolutionaries" opens the passion week (11,17). The entire passion week, e.g. 14,58 in the judgment scene before the high priest, is described under the cloud of the looming disaster re. the temple. The week ends with the torn veil of the temple and the "(temple) monument" turned into a grave etc. 
      Again, you may be on to something here, but you seem to pin all the scribal originality on the wrong man. Mark is a dramatizer and a popularizer, not a highly trained scrutator of biblical texts.
      On the contrary. Mark was trained both in Hellenic drama (the form) and Judean Haggadah (the content). He applied the scriptural texts from his bible concerning the promise to his people as he understood them in the light of Jesus' mission and message and also seen through Paul's spectacles.
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