The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:23 pm

Michael BG wrote:
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Michael BG wrote:Luke tells us that fishermen were not in their boats (v 2), while Simon magically is in one of the boats (v 3) and then becomes one who had been fishing (v 5).
Again, this summary does not resemble what I am reading. I am all in favor of finding seams and inconsistencies; they might be clues. But it feels like you are inventing them, not discovering them.

Verse 2 says that the boats had been left on the beach by the fisherman; it also says that the fishermen are washing their nets. Where is the inconsistency?? Verse 3 tells us that one of those fishermen is Simon. Again, where is the inconsistency?
I think finding “seams and inconsistencies” is an art form and not a science, and I do not consider myself very good at it. I think I have done very well to see so many in Lk 5:1-11.

In verse 2 the fishermen are out of the two boats – αποβαντες; in verse 3 Jesus gets into a boat and then asks Simon to move away from the land. He doesn’t ask Simon to get into the boat, it is implied that he is already in the boat and not out of it washing the nets. Then later in verse 4 Jesus wants Simon to use the nets again, but we are not told that they have been put back into the boat.
There are gaps, yes. Most of these pericopae contain such gaps, which are not the same as inconsistencies.
Ben C. Smith wrote:If my hypothesis is correct, remember, then Luke is not just rewriting a resurrection appearance; he is combining a resurrection appearance with Mark 1.16-20.
You have not attempted to divorce Luke’s redaction including his use of Mk 1:16-20 (and I suggest Mk 6:53) from what could be the Marcan resurrection appearance story. I also think that “so that they began to sink” in verse 7, which might look to the stilling of the storm (Mk 4:35-41, Lk 8:22-25), is also Lucan redaction especially because no action is taken in the story here to prevent both boats from sinking.

I think it is more likely that Luke has improved Mark’s calling of Simon, John and James (Mk 1:16-20) into a much better story than that Luke has combined a resurrection appearance story from Mark with the calling story. Once Lucan redaction and combining have been removed I don’t see any features of a resurrection appearance.
What remains is the miraculous catch of fish itself, seemingly symbolic of Christian mission and honored as the centerpiece of a resurrection appearance story in John 21 (recall that I came to Luke 5 by way of John 21, and not vice versa), and Peter's crying out that he is a sinful man (which is the confirmatory part of the argument), which I maintained in the OP (and which I still maintain) fits better after the 3 denials than here in Luke. The rest is, as I have said, drawing on Mark 1.16-20 (oh, and Mark 4.1, of course, as well). You can add as many details to Luke drawing upon Mark 1.16-20 as you like, and it will not directly affect what the OP argued.
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Wed May 17, 2017 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Michael BG
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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by Michael BG » Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:51 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Michael BG wrote:You have not attempted to divorce Luke’s redaction including his use of Mk 1:16-20 (and I suggest Mk 6:53) from what could be the Marcan resurrection appearance story. I also think that “so that they began to sink” in verse 7, which might look to the stilling of the storm (Mk 4:35-41, Lk 8:22-25), is also Lucan redaction especially because no action is taken in the story here to prevent both boats from sinking.

I think it is more likely that Luke has improved Mark’s calling of Simon, John and James (Mk 1:16-20) into a much better story than that Luke has combined a resurrection appearance story from Mark with the calling story. Once Lucan redaction and combining have been removed I don’t see any features of a resurrection appearance.
What remains is the miraculous catch of fish itself, seemingly symbolic of Christian mission and honored as the centerpiece of a resurrection appearance story in John 21 (recall that I came to Luke 5 by way of John 21, and not vice versa), and Peter's crying out that he is a sinful man (which is the confirmatory part of the argument), which I maintained in the OP (and which I still maintain) fits better after the 3 denials than here in Luke. The rest is, as I have said, drawing on Mark 1.16-20 (oh, and Mark 4.1, of course, as well). You can add as many details to Luke drawing upon Mark 1.16-20 as you like, and it will not directly affect what the OP argued.
I think I have already accepted the symbolism of the miraculous catch of fish and the “Christian mission” in Luke 5:1-11. You have already suggested that “since John, too, has three denials, and very well could have added these three dominical requests”. Indeed, and I think this is very likely.

I have pointed out that Lk 5:8
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
would look odd in Mark’s gospel as it is odd in Luke’s because of “Simon Peter”.

In fact I think it is most likely that the author of Jn 21 created it from Lk 5:1-11, Mk 1:16-20 and other resurrection stories with an added Johannine twist. The authors of John’s gospel had not had Simon as a fishermen until then. “Simon Peter” is not usual in Mark but it appears only once in Luke and 18 times in John. Even where Mark and John have the same story the Johannine one has been heavily reworked. Therefore it is very difficult to get behind John to reach a Marcan version.

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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:29 pm

Michael BG wrote:I have pointed out that Lk 5:8
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
would look odd in Mark’s gospel as it is odd in Luke’s because of “Simon Peter”.
Does Simon Peter look odd in Matthew 16.16? Matthew did not get that double name from Mark 8.29, did he?
“Simon Peter” is not usual in Mark but it appears only once in Luke and 18 times in John.
And yet... Simon Peter's falling down and crying out that he is a sinful man forms no part of John 21. So what do you think is going on here? Why does Luke 5.8 have Simon Peter?

If you want to know what I think, well, I think that authors who know the full name of the character in question can drop that full name any time they please, even if it is only one time in the entire text (as in Matthew and Luke) or none (as in Mark). In my judgment the name Simon Peter in Luke 5.8 is no more an indication of source than the name Simon Peter in Matthew 16.16 is.
Even where Mark and John have the same story the Johannine one has been heavily reworked. Therefore it is very difficult to get behind John to reach a Marcan version.
On this much we agree. An actual reconstruction is beyond our reach.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by Bernard Muller » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:25 pm

to Ben,
On this much we agree. An actual reconstruction is beyond our reach.
So you consider my work on the matter as garbage?

Cordially, Bernard
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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:27 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:to Ben,
On this much we agree. An actual reconstruction is beyond our reach.
So you consider my work on the matter as garbage?
Not at all. It is very useful.
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andrewcriddle
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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by andrewcriddle » Mon May 01, 2017 1:46 am

Hi Ben

A few comments as I promised.

The advantage of your idea is that as you say it resolves at one stroke various problems in the Gospel narratives as we have them. One issue that I don't think you specifically mentioned is that it gives the last words of Mark 16:8 They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. a clear function in context. It allows the appearance of Jesus to the Apostles to be plausibly unexpected (In John 21 it is implausibly unexpected given the previous appearances). Although an angel has already told the women that Jesus has risen' the apostles remain unaware of this because the women have not passed on the message.

Some problems:
a/ I haven't does a proper analysis but the relevant section of John 21 (the last few verses are clearly from the redactor) doesn't at first sight seem stylistically particularly Markan.
b/ The emphasis on the restoration of Peter in particular in John 21 (also present in the source used in Luke 5) feels non-Markan and probably post-Markan.
c/ I have problems with an ending of Mark known to Luke and to the Johannine redactor and to the author of the Gospel of Peter but unknown to Matthew and lost from all surviving copies of Mark. Part of the problem here may be the idea that the Gospel of Peter knew the lost ending. I think we can explain the Gospel of Peter on a basis of our Mark and our John. (There is a problem as to how the Gospel of Peter handled the resurrection appearances in Jerusalem, which the author must have known, but I don't think knowledge of the lost ending of Mark really helps here.)

If we avoid supposing that the Gospel of Peter had access to the lost ending then we have an ending known to Luke and to the Johannine redactor but unknown to Matthew and lost from all surviving copies of Mark. This would probably imply a relatively early date of Luke and John and a relatively late date of Matthew. If true this would have broader implications for things like the synoptic problem.

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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by Ulan » Mon May 01, 2017 3:43 am

andrewcriddle wrote:c/ I have problems with an ending of Mark known to Luke and to the Johannine redactor and to the author of the Gospel of Peter but unknown to Matthew and lost from all surviving copies of Mark.
Isn't this rather a strength of the proposal? I assume that our surviving text of gMark is closer to the one known to Matthew, but not to Luke. Luke "omits" a large section of gMark, the section that shows duplications. His copy may, indeed, have been different already from this point alone.

I agree that it may (or may not) have repercussions for the sequence of how the gospels were written, but if you consider "gLuke" a gospel that went through several editions and iterations, you can have the situation where a first draft of gLuke is older than gMatthew while "our" gLuke is younger.

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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by andrewcriddle » Mon May 01, 2017 4:10 am

Ulan wrote:
andrewcriddle wrote:c/ I have problems with an ending of Mark known to Luke and to the Johannine redactor and to the author of the Gospel of Peter but unknown to Matthew and lost from all surviving copies of Mark.
Isn't this rather a strength of the proposal? I assume that our surviving text of gMark is closer to the one known to Matthew, but not to Luke. Luke "omits" a large section of gMark, the section that shows duplications. His copy may, indeed, have been different already from this point alone.

I agree that it may (or may not) have repercussions for the sequence of how the gospels were written, but if you consider "gLuke" a gospel that went through several editions and iterations, you can have the situation where a first draft of gLuke is older than gMatthew while "our" gLuke is younger.
To clarify. My main problem here is the supposed knowledge of the lost ending of Mark by the author of the Gospel of Peter. If one discards that specific piece of the proposal I agree that the idea becomes much more plausible. (I'm assuming here that the Gospel of Peter is relatively late, 2nd quarter of the 2nd century. Much earlier dates for Peter would alleviate this specific problem but would have their own difficulties. )

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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by Ulan » Mon May 01, 2017 4:20 am

Ah, OK. That issue obviously depends on how old you assume the Gospel of Peter is, as you say (personally, I don't have any well-grounded opinion on this).

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Re: The ending of Mark (for Kunigunde).

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon May 01, 2017 6:00 am

andrewcriddle wrote:A few comments as I promised.
Thanks, Andrew. Excellent points as always.
The advantage of your idea is that as you say it resolves at one stroke various problems in the Gospel narratives as we have them. One issue that I don't think you specifically mentioned is that it gives the last words of Mark 16:8 They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. a clear function in context. It allows the appearance of Jesus to the Apostles to be plausibly unexpected (In John 21 it is implausibly unexpected given the previous appearances). Although an angel has already told the women that Jesus has risen' the apostles remain unaware of this because the women have not passed on the message.
I may not have explained my view of 16.8 fulfilling this function very well in the OP, but yes, I agree with this assessment completely.
Some problems:
a/ I haven't does a proper analysis but the relevant section of John 21 (the last few verses are clearly from the redactor) doesn't at first sight seem stylistically particularly Markan.
I do agree with this. But I also think that, in general, whatever John touches seems to tend to turn Johannine. The baptism of Jesus, for example, in John 1.29-33 strikes me as thoroughly Johannine in character:

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and he says: Behold, the lamb of God, the one who is taking away the sins of the world. 30 This is he on behalf of whom I said: After me is coming a man who is to my fore, since he was before me. 31 And I did not know him, but, so that he might be made apparent to Israel, on account of this I came baptizing in water. 32 And John testified saying: I have watched the spirit descending as a dove from heaven, and it remained upon him. 33 And I did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize in water, that one said to me: Upon whom you see the spirit descending and remaining upon him, this is the one baptizing in the holy spirit. 34 And I have seen and have testified that this is the son of God.

Were our extant version of Mark lacking a baptism, and were my thesis that the original version contained one, based on John, the same observation might easily be made: nothing in the Johannine version seems at first sight particularly Marcan. I would have to be arguing that the very presence of the pericope would be Marcan, not the style of what we find in John, and that is what I am doing with the resurrection appearance in John 21: its very presence strikes me as Marcan, but the style is all John.
b/ The emphasis on the restoration of Peter in particular in John 21 (also present in the source used in Luke 5) feels non-Markan and probably post-Markan.
The threefold restoration of Peter is just a guess on my part; it is not actually part of my argument, and is a possibility at best. As I responded to someone else on this thread, John has as much motive to create this threefold restoration as Mark does, since John, like Mark, has three denials.
c/ I have problems with an ending of Mark known to Luke and to the Johannine redactor and to the author of the Gospel of Peter but unknown to Matthew and lost from all surviving copies of Mark. Part of the problem here may be the idea that the Gospel of Peter knew the lost ending. I think we can explain the Gospel of Peter on a basis of our Mark and our John. (There is a problem as to how the Gospel of Peter handled the resurrection appearances in Jerusalem, which the author must have known, but I don't think knowledge of the lost ending of Mark really helps here.)
Yes, this is where things get very complex very quickly: how do all of these gospels fit together chronologically and with regard to interdependence? If Peter's dependence upon the lost ending of Mark becomes too much of a liability, then it could be dropped, and we might suppose that Peter is combining John 21.1-14 with Mark 1.16-20. What gives me pause here is that mention of Levi of Alphaeus in the gospel of Peter. Sure, Peter can be drawing him in from Mark 2.14, but it has always bothered me that Levi is one of only five disciples to be given a personal, narrated call by Jesus, yet he fails even to make the list of the twelve in Mark 3.13-19, and he does not even make an appearance later. If the lost ending of Mark had him at the Sea of Galilee for this resurrection appearance, that would at least tie up a loose end in Mark. But if that is the case, of course, then Peter can have gotten that information only from the lost ending of Mark: not from John 21.1-14 and certainly not from Luke 5.1-11. So I am a bit reluctant to give up that point altogether.

Furthermore, I have only become more and more convinced with each passing study that all of the gospels are probably layered. I quoted an excerpt from David Parker a good while ago that I feel is relevant: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1832&p=41579#p41579. He is writing only/mainly about the canonical gospels, but I have a feeling that Peter is the same way, preserving very early materials and adding very late materials. (I would say that, in its present form, it is one of the latest, if not the very latest, of the gospels; but I suspect that Crossan, though mistaken overall about his "cross gospel", is correct on some points, to the effect that there are some materials in Peter which predate our canonical gospels. But that is a topic for another time.)
If we avoid supposing that the Gospel of Peter had access to the lost ending then we have an ending known to Luke and to the Johannine redactor but unknown to Matthew and lost from all surviving copies of Mark. This would probably imply a relatively early date of Luke and John and a relatively late date of Matthew. If true this would have broader implications for things like the synoptic problem.
This is something to consider, and I may have more to say about it later.

Thanks again.

Ben.
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