The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Charles Wilson
Posts: 1379
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by Charles Wilson » Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:49 am

Bernard Muller, http://historical-jesus.info/hjes3.html#emptyt
Atwill, Caesar's Messiah, ISBN 978-1461096405
Raskin, The Evolution of Christs and Christianities, ISBN 978-1413497915
Turton, http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark_index.html
Wilson, New Testament Origins, ISBN 978-1491228388

Simply put: The Empty Tomb Story has been added to the Gospels.

Our Poster Bernard has reasoned to a Magnificent Conclusion and it is important for the understanding of the physical production of the NT and how it came to us as it has.
B Muller states: "If the disciples did not learn about the "rising" of Jesus and were not reminded about some future "vision" of him, they would never interpret something (like dreams) or someone (as in Lk24:15-16) as being an emanation of the resurrected Christ! And that would explain why Peter and the other disciples never said anything about the empty tomb and, above all, the "rising", because they (or anyone else) had not been told!
But how could someone know about the empty tomb and the women's experience? And be so sure that anyone of those, at any time, did not divulge the 'empty tomb' event?
The only solution appears to be that the 'empty tomb' story was not known before, and therefore generated for the gospel..." [[Emph. added]]

There are others who support this idea, although from different perspectives. Atwill covers the "Puzzle of the Empty Tomb" by noting that the rising sun is an Objective Marker in which the Tableau may be set. People come and people go as the sun rises and there is no explicit contradiction in the appearances at the Tomb. It is, to Atwill, another Comedy, another Flavian Joke at believers expense. As he has often stated, "If you don't get the Joke, your reward is a belief in a false god...". The Story, then, is a story that has been split into four parts and grafted onto the ends of the Gospels. All four parts may be reconstructed into a Unified Whole.

Raskin takes the Spices and the Stone as evidence that Mark and John were originally One Story. One has the Spices and not the Stone, the other has the Stone and not the Spices, It makes sense that the Original was split and rewritten as single stories.

My view is that, if this thesis is True, our understanding of the production of the Gospels must be radically changed. Consider: We have no Gospel without one of the Tomb Passages. This would imply that ALL FOUR GOSPELS were tightly held at one time. Mark has a "fragmented ending". At one point, there was no other copy of Mark extant. This last page was ripped or lost while the Gospels were held together (See Turton and Chiasms - http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark16.html - Possible Realistic Ending: "It was the last day of the feast of the unleavened bread and many people were going out, returning to their houses since the festival was over. (Gospel of Peter)" An end such as this would be unacceptable for a New Religion based on a "Resurrection".).

I'm, as usual, a bit far afield here, looking at the "Holy Spirit" as a cipher for disembodied, Damantio'd Domitian. Further, there is a passage for an Emperor dying with an "Empty Tomb" in a manner of Atwill's Jokes: The Death of Otho from Plutarch and the Search for Verginius Rufus to proclaim him Caesar and VR takin' a hike out the back door. I don't expect anyone to accept this - yet - but it does provide a plausible absolute earliest date for the Construction of the Gospels: No earlier than 97 with a more probable construction towards 110. Tacitus and Pliny the Younger speak at VRs funeral and Tacitus is all over Acts. Both Tacitus and Pliny the Younger are given as witnesses to early Christianity and that (very) indirectly implies some tampering with the Authors of the Empty tomb and Acts.

The important point to take away in all of this is that the separate, "Oral Tradition" Type of History of the NT is untenable. The Gospels were tightly held and organized by people who had a Directed Goal and knew how to get to that Goal. I agree with Raskin on The Split and the identity of Atwill's Titus as AN original focus. Domitian puts all of the material together to make HIM appear as the Last from God, replacing the Baptism of John with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then...

Bernard Muller is correct and he has support. The Empty Tomb was added and added very late.

A small Group held the pen last. The end of the material was the Empty Tomb Story, perhaps provided by Tacitus and Pliny the Younger. The Tomb Story was split into the four small stories and sewn into the four ends of what we now have.

CW
Last edited by Charles Wilson on Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

iskander
Posts: 2091
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by iskander » Tue Mar 15, 2016 12:33 pm

The empty tomb story seems to be only one of various ways of bringing a dead man back to life in a story. The possibility of such an extraordinary event having been s suggested , instead of asserted, leaves the reader free to react in a inquisitive manner to it. Like in a modern horror film when a sudden noise alarms the hero who then proceeds to investigate . It is a very modern technique intended to maintain the attention of the listener, reader.
Is the tomb empty because the body was stolen ? By friends of the dead man or by his enemies?. Was the tomb never empty and the storyteller is making things up? All will be revealed , come and hear.

Judaism believes in resurrection and in the existence of ghosts.
1Samuel 28
3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city.... The woman said to Saul, ‘I see a divine being* coming up out of the ground.’ 14He said to her, ‘What is his appearance?’ She said, ‘An old man is coming up; he is wrapped in a robe.’ So Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.
15 Then Samuel said to Saul, ‘Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?’
Last edited by iskander on Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Michael BG
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:02 am

Re: The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by Michael BG » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:41 pm

The empty tomb was part of the pre-Marcan story and Mark’s redaction can be seen in what we now have. Matthew and Luke both redacted the story in their own way and John most likely used all three versions for his. However I would argue that the legal environment for the story with female witnesses is a Roman one and not a Jewish Palestinian one. Therefore it is later than the traditions regarding people having had resurrection appearance experiences of Jesus Christ.

I would be interested in a well argued case that an empty tomb with female witnesses can be seen in the work of Roman authors and that parallels can be identified within the pre-Marcan story with clear examples.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7266
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Mar 15, 2016 1:48 pm

Michael BG wrote:The empty tomb was part of the pre-Marcan story and Mark’s redaction can be seen in what we now have.
Can you elaborate on that? Thanks.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

Charles Wilson
Posts: 1379
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Re: The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by Charles Wilson » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:06 pm

Thank you, Michael BG. I am not jumping on your Post. I like it. In fact, some of it is "Tell me more!" stuff.
Michael BG wrote:The empty tomb was part of the pre-Marcan story and Mark’s redaction can be seen in what we now have.
That's the assertion that is being investigated. Is this "Pre-Marcan Story" Judaic or Roman? HOW DO YOU KNOW IT IS BEFORE MARK?
Matthew and Luke both redacted the story in their own way and John most likely used all three versions for his.
These are Proof Statements and I would request Proof. TMM!
However I would argue that the legal environment for the story with female witnesses is a Roman one and not a Jewish Palestinian one. Therefore it is later than the traditions regarding people having had resurrection appearance experiences of Jesus Christ.
Mostly yes! TMM! Are we talking about the "Traditions" of a Tacitus? Pliny the Younger? As for the female part in this Play...
I would be interested in a well argued case that an empty tomb with female witnesses can be seen in the work of Roman authors and that parallels can be identified within the pre-Marcan story with clear examples.
Mark 5: 25 - 32 (RSV):

[25] And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,
[26] and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.
[27] She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.
[28] For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well."
[29] And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
[30] And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched my garments?"
[31] And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, `Who touched me?'"
[32] And he looked around to see who had done it.

OK, OK, it's not an Empty Tomb but this passage is of extreme importance in its featuring of a Female Character. It is embedded in the complete Story of "Jairus' Daughter" who is - Trumpets, please - Twelve Years Old.

Mark 6: 54 - 56 (RSV):

[54] And when they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized him,
[55] and ran about the whole neighborhood and began to bring sick people on their pallets to any place where they heard he was.
[56] And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the market places, and besought him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.

What is the purpose of the Female Characters? The Tale of Healing by "merely" touching the Tassels and fringes is told without the use of females in Mark 6. What purpose?
The point of this Thread is to examine the use of a Manufactured Story of a Resurrection and the placement of the separated Story into 4 parts, which are then melded into the 4 Gospel Stories. The use of females must be important and I agree that to make the Tales fit, a Roman Literary Device was used.

Was it grafted onto Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? If so, this goes beyond simple single authorship.

CW

User avatar
MrMacSon
Posts: 6081
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by MrMacSon » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:47 pm

Charles Wilson wrote: Mark 5: 25 - 32 (RSV):

[25] And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,
[26] and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.
[27] She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.
[28] For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well."
[29] And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
[30] And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched my garments?"
[31] And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, `Who touched me?'"
[32] And he looked around to see who had done it.


OK, OK, it's not an Empty Tomb but this passage is of extreme importance in its featuring of a Female Character.
Mark 5 starts with reference to a man -
  • [3] who lived among the tombs [with many] ...

    6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him;
    7 and crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”
    8 For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”

Michael BG
Posts: 644
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 8:02 am

Re: The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by Michael BG » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:32 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Michael BG wrote:The empty tomb was part of the pre-Marcan story and Mark’s redaction can be seen in what we now have.
Can you elaborate on that? Thanks.
I think I have already posted this on this site but I can’t remember where. Also it is a well known position – Theissen presents it but I follow Catchpole mostly.
Charles Wilson wrote:OK, OK, it's not an Empty Tomb but this passage is of extreme importance in its featuring of a Female Character. It is embedded in the complete Story of "Jairus' Daughter" who is - Trumpets, please - Twelve Years Old.
Having female characters is not what I am talking about. Some Christians state that because in the Jewish legal system didn’t recognise women witnesses but only men this story could not be a creation of the early church. The whole pre-Marcan post trial narrative has female and only female witnesses Mk 15:40, 15:47 and 16:1. It is argued that this makes it probable that there is a pre-Marcan tradition here. My argument is it is unlikely to be a Christian creation in a Jewish Palestinian environment, but within a Roman legal environment women could be witnesses and could start legal proceedings.
Charles Wilson wrote:
Michael BG wrote:The empty tomb was part of the pre-Marcan story and Mark’s redaction can be seen in what we now have.
That's the assertion that is being investigated. Is this "Pre-Marcan Story" Judaic or Roman? HOW DO YOU KNOW IT IS BEFORE MARK?
Of course we can’t know anything; we can only look at the evidence people present and decide what we think is most likely.

Mark 16:1-8

[1] And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo'me, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
[2] And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.
[3] And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?"
[4] And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; -- it was very large.
[5] And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed.
[6] And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.
[7] But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you."
[8] And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.

Michael Turton in the link provided in Charles Wilson OP has some of the evidence (http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark16.html).

With regard to verse 2 Turton writes, “although some have argued that there is a contradiction between "very early" and "the sun had risen" that is just typical Markan doubling.”

I am inclined to go with this comment by Michael Turton on verse 5 “The young man also recalls the young man of Tobit 5:14 who is also an angel. This is a more probable origin for the scene,”

Also regarding verse 5 he has, ‘"amazed" is another instance of the unique verb for amazement found only in Mark, and may be a sign of a redactor's hand. (Koester 1990, p284).’

There is duplication regarding what day it is, so it is likely only one of these was in the pre-Marcan tradition. The emphasis on the size of the stone and who will roll away the stone seems like an embellishment. It has been said that it is unlikely that a round stone would have been used at time and so rolled away could be the editorial work of Mark so it agreed with practices in his day. It has been suggested that verse 7 links into Mark having Jesus say he will appear to the disciples in Galilee (14:28). The idea that they told no one is a Marcan motif. Therefore I would like to consider this as the pre-Marcan tradition:

[1] Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo'me,
[2] on the first day of the week went to the tomb

[4] And looking up, they saw that the stone was [moved];
[5] And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe;
[6] And he said to them, “You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him”.

[8] And they went out and fled from the tomb
Charles Wilson wrote:
Michael BG wrote:Matthew and Luke both redacted the story in their own way
These are Proof Statements and I would request Proof.

There can be no proof only likelihoods.

If we accept this as the pre-Marcan version, then because Matthew includes Marcan redaction we can conclude that he started with Mark’s version

In Mt 28:1-10 Matthew has the Sabbath and a verse about Jesus going before them to Galilee identical to Mk 16:7b.

Luke (24:1-11) has retained very little of the Marcan redaction. He retains the spices, the stone being rolled away and the word Galilee, but this is enough to conclude he used the Marcan version and changed it to meet his own needs.
Charles Wilson wrote:
Michael BG wrote:I would be interested in a well argued case that an empty tomb with female witnesses can be seen in the work of Roman authors and that parallels can be identified within the pre-Marcan story with clear examples.
The point of this Thread is to examine the use of a Manufactured Story of a Resurrection and the placement of the separated Story into 4 parts, which are then melded into the 4 Gospel Stories. The use of females must be important and I agree that to make the Tales fit, a Roman Literary Device was used.

Was it grafted onto Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? If so, this goes beyond simple single authorship.

CW
but you present no argument for these views.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 7266
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:46 pm

Michael BG wrote:
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Michael BG wrote:The empty tomb was part of the pre-Marcan story and Mark’s redaction can be seen in what we now have.
Can you elaborate on that? Thanks.
I think I have already posted this on this site but I can’t remember where. Also it is a well known position....
Sure, but I was asking about your reasons for it. I was curious what you found to be the most persuasive reasons.
ΤΙ ΕΣΤΙΝ ΑΛΗΘΕΙΑ

iskander
Posts: 2091
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by iskander » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:43 am

The new testament considers women to be the equal of men. Women were members of the inner circle of Jesus and it was natural for them to be the protagonists of the empty tomb episode.

Jesus rejected the oral law and disregarded the taboos of society. The empty tomb is not a document to be submitted to a rabbinical court, but information on a new beginning in an old setting: it is The Way.

Charles Wilson
Posts: 1379
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Re: The Grafted Story of the Empty Tomb

Post by Charles Wilson » Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:59 am

Michael BG wrote:
Charles Wilson wrote:OK, OK, it's not an Empty Tomb but this passage is of extreme importance in its featuring of a Female Character. It is embedded in the complete Story of "Jairus' Daughter" who is - Trumpets, please - Twelve Years Old.
Having female characters is not what I am talking about... My argument is it is unlikely to be a Christian creation in a Jewish Palestinian environment, but within a Roman legal environment women could be witnesses and could start legal proceedings.
I understand. There are some subtle points in both of our arguments but these would probably best be argued in another thread.
Michael BG wrote:
Charles Wilson wrote:
Michael BG wrote:Matthew and Luke both redacted the story in their own way
These are Proof Statements and I would request Proof.

There can be no proof only likelihoods.
Believe me, I understand Language, Truth and Logic. I'm not asking for that Type of Proof. Systemic Probabilities, maybe...
If we accept this as the pre-Marcan version, then because Matthew includes Marcan redaction we can conclude that he started with Mark’s version
'N I'm not sure I can accept this statement for this Thread Subject...
In Mt 28:1-10 Matthew has the Sabbath and a verse about Jesus going before them to Galilee identical to Mk 16:7b.
...'N here's why: "Going to Galilee..." is evidence from the Story of Peter and is a comment from a Priest of Immer, not a "Jesus". We are far removed from the Thread Subject. I'd be happy to explain the probability of that "Proof Statement" (and have..) elsewhere.
Michael BG wrote:
Charles Wilson wrote:
Michael BG wrote:I would be interested in a well argued case that an empty tomb with female witnesses can be seen in the work of Roman authors and that parallels can be identified within the pre-Marcan story with clear examples.
The point of this Thread is to examine the use of a Manufactured Story of a Resurrection and the placement of the separated Story into 4 parts, which are then melded into the 4 Gospel Stories. The use of females must be important and I agree that to make the Tales fit, a Roman Literary Device was used.

Was it grafted onto Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? If so, this goes beyond simple single authorship.
but you present no argument for these views.
I trust you are not being snippy here. The point is that Bernard has read a Conclusion about the Empty Tomb being added to the Gospels. The necessity of Production in that era would have implications BEYOND an analysis of Mark only, or Matthew only, or Luke only. Bernard has support from several people with radically different World Views of the evidence in the Gospels. Atwill provides a reading that Unifies the Stories based on the rising sun. Implication: The Stories were once ONE STORY. Is there evidence that the Implied Story was Split? Yes, according to our Poster Jay Raskin. We now have John included. Does the evidence work in the other direction as well? Yes. Michael Turton shows that Chiastic Analysis of Mark implies that the end of Mark would take a "Movement Statement" to end the Chiasm. It's awkwardly not there.

Finally, my point in all of this is that if all of these items point to a time when the Gospels were tightly controlled, the Grafting of the Empty Tomb Sequence moves beyond individual Gospel Analysis. It moves beyond trying to find one-more-thing in some montrously opaque Church Father's Verbiage or some other nonsense, It moves beyond "Matthew had Mark open in front of him when...". There are some very significant Other Things to examine.

If you don't believe any of the evidence offered for a good probability statement on the existence and Truth Value of the Thesis ("Existence is not a Predicate") then OK. I'm hoping the Thread can remain narrow-focused.
Comments welcome.

CW

Post Reply