Re: Chromatius, Mark 16:19, and Luke 24:51
- Dear George:
GFS: Acts "may have been considered simply the second half of Luke."
There is simply no way to justify the idea that Chromatius, in his discussion of the four Gospels, each of which he names and describes, thought of the book of Acts as Part II of the Gospel of Luke. Luke is Luke, and Acts is Acts. This should not be difficult to see; nor is it difficult to see that Chromatius defined the Gospels as Mt-Jn-Lk-Mk, not as Mt-Jn-Lk-Acts-Mk.
GFS: "Your argumentation is not the least bit convincing."
What argumentation? I am just pointing you to the implications of the evidence, and the evidence is clear: Chromatius states that Mark was the only Gospel to mention Christ's ascension. Right?
GFS: "The concept of Christ ascending into heaven and sitting at the right hand of God was "in the air" in the early Church."
No doubt, but Chromatius was not writing about common concepts accepted by the early church; he was writing about what was found written in the Gospel of Mark. Right?
GFS: "I think that whoever constructed an ending for Mark gathered up the fragments of tradition floating around and put them together in the NEW ending for Mark. . . ."
And this person decided to re-introduce Mary Magdalene, restate the time of day, and forgot about Mary Magdalene's companions, and, although he saw that the resurection-scene forecast in 16:7 was to be in Galilee, he selected appearances in or near Jerusalem as the way to end Mark??? And he knew about the scene described in Jn. 21, but did not use it???
GFS: "Acts itself seems to be late" . . .
A very worthwhile subject, no doubt, but can we focus on Chromatius' reference to the contents of Mark 16:19?
GFS: "Mk 16.9 ff is definitely a secondary accretion."
Secondary, yes. Jeremiah 52 is also secondary; Proverbs 30 and 31 are secondary; John 21 and II Cor. 10-13 may be, in some sense, secondary. And so forth. But the involvement of a co-author or a redactor does not disqualify a passage from being part of the original text. Or, to put it another way, a secondary part of the production-stage is still part of the production-stage.
Accretion, no. Mk. 16:9-20 was added while the text was in its production-stage; it was previously a freestanding text of approximately the same genre as what Paul uses in I Cor. 15. It was not initially composed for the purpose of concluding the Gospel of Mark (though there is no serious obstacle to the idea that Mark wrote it) but it was attached for that purpose, before the text of the Gospel of Mark began its transmission-stage.
But before we explore Planet Ending-of-Mark, let's map out this small moon of Chromatius. Do you understand the two implications of what Chromatius says?
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.