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Re: [textualcriticism] Ambrose, Eusebius, and Mark 16:9-20

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  • George F Somsel
    All this could possibly be stretched to indicate is that some in the 4th century were using the longer ending of Mark.  It in no way indicates that it was
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 5, 2011
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      All this could possibly be stretched to indicate is that some in the 4th century were using the longer ending of Mark.  It in no way indicates that it was originally a part of the gospel.  I would suggest you give your monomania a rest.
       
      george
      gfsomsel

      … search for truth, hear truth,
      learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
      defend the truth till death.


      - Jan Hus
      _________
      From: james_snapp_jr <voxverax@...>
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, October 3, 2011 10:59 AM
      Subject: [textualcriticism] Ambrose, Eusebius, and Mark 16:9-20

       
      William Farmer, in his book "The Last Twelve Verses of Mark," pointed out (on page 33) that Ambrose of Milan utilized the contents of Mark 16:9-20 four times: in "Concerning Repentance" 1:35, in "Of the Christian Faith" 1:86, and in "On the Holy Spirit" 2:145 and 2:151.

      Specifically, in "Concerning Repentance" 1:35, Ambrose wrote, "He gave all gifts to His disciples, of whom He said: `In My name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall do well.'" His statement in "On the Holy Spirit" 2:151 uses the same passage (without "And in their hands").

      In "On the Holy Spirit" 2:145, Ambrose casually says, "Wisdom sent the apostles, saying, `Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel."

      And in "Exposition on the Christian Faith," 1:86, he refers to the public reading of Mark 16:15 in the church-services: "We have heard the passage read where the Lord says, `Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to all creation.'"

      In addition, besides those four references, Ambrose also uses Mark 16:17b-18 in "The Prayer of Job and David," 4:1:4: "He says, `In my name they shall cast out devils, they shall speak in new tongues, they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.'"

      If you've read "Authentic: The Case for Mark 16:9-20," you were already aware of that. But here is something of which you might not be aware:

      If you visit http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/?p=2785 you will see a link to CSEL Volume 32, Part 4, which consists of the Latin text of Ambrose's Commentary on Luke, compiled by Schenkl (1902): http://books.google.com/books?id=SyERAAAAYAAJ

      And in Commentary on Luke, Ambrose makes some additional utilization of the contents of Mark 16:9-20.

      In Book 2, 81-82 (see page 86 of Schenkl for the Latin text), Ambrose says something that vaguely resembles the following:

      *******
      "Therefore the following statement is made: Go into all the world and preach the gospel [Mk. 16:15b]. The preaching of the gospel is pictured as the footsteps of the person who recites the series of acts that the Lord has done. Thus to preach the gospel is to wear wedding-shoes."
      *******

      In Book 7, 81 (see page 315 of Schenkl for the Latin text), Ambrose says something that vaguely resembles the following:

      *******
      Thus the guest is the one to whom He said: "Christ sent me to preach the gospel" [I Cor. 1:17]. The guests are those to whom it is said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation, and he who believes and is baptized shall be saved" [Mk. 16:15b-16] Saved, that is, from death, saved from the wound inflicted by the robbers.
      *******

      And, in Book 10, 182-184 (see pages 527-528 of Schenkl for the Latin text), Ambrose says something that vaguely resembles the following:

      *******
      Why, according to Matthew and Mark, the disciples were told, "I will go before you into Galilee, there you will see me," but according to Luke and John, he plainly showed Himself to them within the room? Indeed, it can be shown that they saw Him frequently; apostolic testimony shows that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren, and to Peter and James. Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, taught that He showed Himself to the disciples, showing by many infallible proofs that He lives after His passion; He appeared to them and instructed them about aspects of the kingdom of God [Acts 1:3].

      Thus He appeared often and in different places. By no means are specifics provided regarding the appearance in Galilee, but the blessed Scripture states the day, even the time of day, when He revealed Himself in Jerusalem. It may be reasoned that He appeared several times in order to show Himself in diverse ways: the timid individuals were visited in a room, and the stronger ones rendezvoused on the mountain.

      Thus, the disciples are pictured by John together in a room, with the doors shut due to fear of the Jews. Luke does not say that they were the eleven; he refers to a group without specifying their quantity. Whereas Matthew specifies that it was only the eleven who converged in Galilee; thus it says, "The eleven disciples departed to a mountain in Galilee, where Jesus had established them, and when they saw Him, they worshipped, but some of them doubted." And He empowered them to teach and to baptize. And He also appeared to the eleven disciples as they sat at table, as it is written at the end of Mark, and in the same way they received the mandate to preach the gospel throughout all the world.

      Indeed, this was fitting: after our Lord sent word to the disciples that they would see Him in Galilee, due to fear they sat down within the room, but later He established the souls of the eleven and summoned them to Galilee. Certainly – for this is preferred by learned writers – there is no objection to concluding that the few who were in the room were also on the mountain.
      *******

      If you have purchased Roger Pearse's book "Eusebius of Caesarea – Gospel Problems and Solutions" then you have already noticed that Ambrose has utilized, in Book 10 and elsewhere in his Commentary on Luke, Eusebius' composition "Questions and Answers About the Gospels." The above section is presented in Latin and in English in Roger Pearse's book. (I really should buy that book!) If anyone needs convincing about this, consider the following statement, which vaguely resembles something in Book 10, 150-151 of Ambrose's Commentary on Luke (see page 512 of Schenkl for the Latin text):

      *******
      So, the events should be arranged accordingly: we are to believe that the resurrection occurred, not early on Sunday (the day after the Sabbath), nor on the Sabbath (for how could this fulfill "three days"?), but, instead, that He arose not in the lateness of the day but in the lateness of the night, as is signified by the Greek term for "late," OPSE [Mt. 28:1]. "Late" can refer to a time, such as late in the day, or to tardy arrival after the appointed time.
      *******

      A comparison of this to the parallel-passage in "Ad Marinum," and to the parallel-passage in Jerome's "Ad Hedibiam" (in which Jerome, like Ambrose, borrowed very much from Eusebius) will leave no doubt that Ambrose was using Eusebius' "Ad Marinum." And yet Ambrose seems entirely comfortable using Mark 16:9-20. Hmm.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.



    • james_snapp_jr
      Dear George, Yes, some in the 300 s -- Hierocles, Marinus, Eusebius (using 16:9 spontaneously in Ad Marinum, in addition to the part where he replies to the
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 5, 2011
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        Dear George,

        Yes, some in the 300's -- Hierocles, Marinus, Eusebius (using 16:9 spontaneously in "Ad Marinum," in addition to the part where he replies to the question about how to harmonize Mt. 28:1 and Mk. 16:9), the anonymous author of "Acts of Pilate," the unknown individual who made the Freer Logion, Wulfilas, Ambrose, Jerome (and whoever produced the old Greek MSS he used as the plumbline-text for the Vulgate Gospels), Ephrem Syrus, the author/compiler of "Apostolic Constitutions," Didymus (or an author of "De Trinitate" in his place and time), Epiphanius of Salamis, the composers of Old Latin chapter-summaries, Chromatius, the producers of Greek MSS known to Augustine, and whoever made the lection-system that Augustine used -- were using Mark 16:9-20. And very probably the copyists of B and Aleph were aware of the passage as well, considering B's special blank space and Aleph's replacement-pages' special rate of letters-per-column and special colophon-decoration (as I explain in the video-lecture "Mark 16:9-20 and the Abrupt Ending" at YouTube).

        I don't see how you can possibly say that such widespread external evidence, from the same century in which the earliest extant MS of Mark 16 was produced, "in no way indicates that it was originally a part of the gospel." What evidence do you use to ascertain the quality of the water from a fountain, if you believe that 15 samples of streams from that fountain "in no way indicate" what flowed from it?

        I will set aside your statement about "monomania." This is the second time you have insulted me, and I was hoping that perhaps someone else would comment that your tone is overly personal and unhelpful. (Just imagine the uproar if someone had told Daniel Wallace and William Warren that they need psychological help!) But since no one else has said so, consider it said. I thank you for keeping your psychology-advice to yourself in the future.

        In addition, Ambrose's "Commentary on Luke," and his use of "Ad Marinum," are subjects which merit additional investigation in their own right.

        Yours in Christ,

        James Snapp, Jr.
      • schmuel
        Hi Folks, Dear George, I will set aside your statement about monomania. This is the second time you have insulted me, and I was hoping that perhaps someone
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 6, 2011
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          Hi Folks,

          Dear George, I will set aside your statement about "monomania."  This is the second time you have insulted me, and I was hoping that perhaps someone else would comment that your tone is overly personal and unhelpful.  (Just imagine the uproar if someone had told Daniel Wallace and William Warren that they need psychological help!)  But since no one else has said so, consider it said.  I thank you for keeping your psychology-advice to yourself in the future.

          Steven
          I was ready to say it, but not quite so eloquently :) . A little slow on the uptake, but I was a little surprised to see real solid textual studies dissed in such a dissmissive way.  (At the time, I did not think of it so much as psychological, simply diversionary.)

          Perhaps if a poster was actively correcting the textual establishment on a dozen issues, they might get upset with James for focusing on one.   Yet who is correcting a dozen ?  Maybe, hypothetically, Jan Krans could fault James for not knowing the ins and outs of Erasmus and Beza flawlessly on the ending (note: hypothetical), but I doubt that he would insult James on the work that he actually does, which is pioneering plus.  

          The resurrection account of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark (aka: the last 12 verses, the ending of Mark)  is definitely historically in the Top 5 of Bible text variants, and James has pioneered mightily, and been complimented for his efforts by many.  Even when agreement is only partial (as, e.g Maurice Robinson, who agrees with much of James on his textual and early writer analysis but not the theories of variant formulation.  And I concur with Maurice there.).  Dearsay, some with the traditional Hortian perspective of exclusion probably give at least grudging acknowledgment to what they have learned from the efforts of James on these 12 verses.  Often, I believe, if you learn one issue extremely well, the carry-over to 100 hundred issues can be enormous, and I believe that James is actually an example of this wide ranging perspective developed out of the implications of a singular study.

          Personally, I have had a couple of criticisms of the work of James, once how he used a hypothetical (Codex Washingtonianus was involved, if I remember) to make an argument sans real substance.  And I noticed that James seemed to tone down that analysis by analogy and even critiqued such concepts when used in reverse .. good job James !  The big disagreement is the question of variant origins, we have tussled and grustled, but for now that is for another day, another way.

          Generally the moderation here is quite good, and appreciated, and I realize that freedom of expression is important, but when a puerile attempt is made to shut up a deep question with a type of psycho-babble, count me in as one that protesteth.

          On this one I would like to give James 100% support, without diverting the forum too much unnecessarily away from the Topics du Jour.

          Shalom,
          Steven Avery
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