It's all yours (Was about a non-Nazareth indicator)

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: Another small but significant pointer to the Nazareth issue

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:31 pm

spin wrote
I don't really understand why you haven't dealt at all with the topic I proposed in the o.p. regarding the parallels between the specified sections of Mk. It's as though you took the opportunity to talk past the topic and present something unrelated.'
I would agree with your argument if the parallel would be an exception, but imho such repetitions of phrases, style and grammar are the rule in GMark. If I would believe in sources, to me it wouldn't be a sign of sources or doublets, but for intentional Markan redaction.

I think the most prominent repetitions are the three passion predictions in chapters 8-10 and the instructing of two disciples to find a colt in Mark 11 and a room for the passover in Mark 14. Once Ben showed five or six (?) parallels between baptism and crucifixion. The closest parallel to your point may be the teachings by the sea in Mark 2:13 and Mark 4:1. I will add a completely strange parallel :ugeek:

If we agree that the original variant in Mark 8:15 is „Herod“ then there are only two mentions of the „Herodians“ in GMark (Mark 3:6 and 12:13). In both stories the Herodians are together with the Pharisees. In both stories a question is asked that starts with „Is it lawful ...“. In both stories the question is an „or“-question (Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?) In both stories this question is followed by another „or“-question (To save life or to kill? Should we pay them, or should we not?)

Many may believe that this is a pure coincidence, but not me.

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Re: It's all yours

Post by Ulan » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:09 pm

I guess "It's all yours" doesn't include me. Oh well. What a tease.

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Re: Another small but significant pointer to the Nazareth issue

Post by Peter Kirby » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:04 pm

spin wrote
I don't really understand why you haven't dealt at all with the topic I proposed in the o.p. regarding the parallels between the specified sections of Mk. It's as though you took the opportunity to talk past the topic and present something unrelated.'
I was interested in reading this. :-|
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Re: It's all yours (Was about a non-Nazareth indicator)

Post by neilgodfrey » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:34 am

spin wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:19 am
The fact that a tradent used Capernaum for the hometown strongly suggests that Nazareth was not in the earliest Jesus tradition.
The question that comes to me is, On what basis do we couch "Capernaum" and "Nazareth" as tradents or pre-gospel traditions as distinct from creations (ideological / literary / other) of the respective authors?

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Re: It's all yours (Was about a non-Nazareth indicator)

Post by Steven Avery » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:41 am

spin wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:19 am
(In fact 2:1 tells us that Jesus had his home there.)
More likely "the house of Simon and Andrew, where he was before, and where he used to be when in Capernaum." - John Gill

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Re: It's all yours (Was about a non-Nazareth indicator)

Post by spin » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:02 am

Steven Avery wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:41 am
spin wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:19 am
(In fact 2:1 tells us that Jesus had his home there.)
More likely "the house of Simon and Andrew, where he was before, and where he used to be when in Capernaum." - John Gill
Lots of pundits have to fabricate stuff to deal with the fact the text specifically says Jesus was at home in Capernaum.
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Re: It's all yours (Was about a non-Nazareth indicator)

Post by spin » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:33 am

neilgodfrey wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:34 am
spin wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:19 am
The fact that a tradent used Capernaum for the hometown strongly suggests that Nazareth was not in the earliest Jesus tradition.
The question that comes to me is, On what basis do we couch "Capernaum" and "Nazareth" as tradents or pre-gospel traditions as distinct from creations (ideological / literary / other) of the respective authors?
Tradents are those who take a tradition and pass it on (somewhat like a person in a chain of Chinese whispers).

Do you think the writer who incorporated the two synagogue stories chose to call the setting of one "his home country" and the other "Capernaum"? A close reading of the two brief narratives shows that they are rather close in content, pointing to a single source, though they have enough different to indicate that they had lives of their own. They were whole brief stories when the Marcan writer decided to wedge another separate story of an unclean spirit (1:23-26) into 1:21-27, wedging or sandwiching as the writer frequently did. The second synagogue story had a different ending which talked about family and problems, which was part of the same pericope the writer used. We are looking at a redactor who cobbled stuff together rather than writing new stuff. So we have four chronological steps:

1. story develops (Jesus arrives, goes into a synagogue on the sabbath, preaches, people are astonished, ask what's going on where he got his power);
2. two versions are developed through telling, one defining the hometown location as Capernaum;
3. Marcan redactor collects the two;
4. incorporates them as though they were different stories

The significant issue for my purposes is that Nazareth has nothing to do with the process. It isn't in the pre-Marcan phase.

Of course one can try to put these developments onto the one scribe, but they won't make sense, so you'll have to find another way to explain the two different stories simply written by the same person.

We see a more sophisticated version of such proceedings with the French troubadours who presented versions of stories they received and passed on to others each as tradents to traditions such as the Arthurian cycle. And before them Geoffrey of Monmouth was a tradent.
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Re: It's all yours (Was about a non-Nazareth indicator)

Post by lsayre » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:52 am

Secret Alias, do you believe that the Gospel of John (or an earlier proto-John) precedes all of the proto-synoptics? And if so, would this support a proto-Gnostic beginning for Christianity?

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Re: It's all yours (Was about a non-Nazareth indicator)

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:24 am

spin wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:33 am
Do you think the writer who incorporated the two synagogue stories chose to call the setting of one "his home country" and the other "Capernaum"? A close reading of the two brief narratives shows that they are rather close in content, pointing to a single source, though they have enough different to indicate that they had lives of their own. They were whole brief stories when the Marcan writer decided to wedge another separate story of an unclean spirit (1:23-26) into 1:21-27, wedging or sandwiching as the writer frequently did. The second synagogue story had a different ending which talked about family and problems, which was part of the same pericope the writer used. We are looking at a redactor who cobbled stuff together rather than writing new stuff.
Good observations. I wrote about this pericope a while ago and thought that it showed signs of layering: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2553. At the time I simply cut it into two unequal parts, like so:

Mark 1.21-28: 21 They go into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are — the Holy One of God!" 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

But now you have pointed out a possible sandwich technique going on, and I think I concur. In particular, I spot a duplication of sorts which may indicate the point of the insertion, very much along the lines of what you are saying: "amazed" (ἐξεπλήσσοντο) in 1.22 and "amazed" (ἐθαμβήθησαν) in 1.27. Not the same Greek word, of course, but synonyms. This thematic duplication reminds me of another pericope I have argued to be a composite:

Mark 2.1-12: 1 When He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. 3 And they come, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. 4 Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. 5a And Jesus seeing their faith says to the paralytic [λέγει τῶ παραλυτικῶ], 5b "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6 But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, says to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" — He says to the paralytic [λέγει τῶ παραλυτικῶ], 11 "I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home." 12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

It is a duplication ("says to the paralytic") that gets the pericope back to its original state, after the business about sin and blasphemy has been inserted, but the duplication makes mince of the grammar. We can tell that the use of sources is one very plausible way to account for this kind of grammatical stumble between narration and direct dialogue from how Luke treats Mark here:

Mark 1.40-45
Luke 5.12-16
40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean." 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean." 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest [σεαυτὸν δεῖξον τῶ ἱερεῖ] and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them." 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.12 While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." 13 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And he charged him to tell no one, but "go and show yourself to the priest [δεῖξον σεαυτὸν τῶ ἱερεῖ], and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them." 15 But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

In this case, Luke has changed part of Mark's direct address to indirect address, but has then lapsed back into direct address, creating (once more) an awkward grammatical link between dialogue and narration.

Something similar happens in another Marcan pericope:

Mark 3.20-35: 20 And He comes home, and the crowd gathers again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. 21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, "He has lost His senses." 22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and, "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons." 23 And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! 27 But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. 28 Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" — 30 since they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit [ὅτι ἔλεγον, πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον ἔχει]." 31 Then His mother and His brothers arrive, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. 32 A crowd was sitting around Him, and they say to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You." 33 Answering them, He says, "Who are My mother and My brothers?" 34 Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He says, "Behold My mother and My brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother."

In this case, the explanatory phrase ("since they were saying, 'He has an unclean spirit'") is again ungrammatical and actually backtracks to fill in details that should have happened earlier in the story. Another example of this phenomenon is Bernard's observation about the women in Mark 15.41, who are written back into the Galilean ministry despite a complete absence from it in the text of the gospel itself, suggesting a new source in the later passion narrative.

At any rate, our current pericope might then look like this:

Mark 1.21-28: 21 They go into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are — the Holy One of God!" 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

Another phrase such as "they said" would have dropped out as the two reactions were combined in that last bit of dialogue, but the "teaching with authority" bit has to be reacting to verse 22, while the commanding of the "unclean spirits" should be reacting to the miracle in verses 23-27a. At any rate, it seems clear enough that two separate story lines are being combined here (one about an exorcism and another about teaching with authority), and your observation about the parallel to one of those story lines is intriguing:

Mark 6.1-6: 1 Jesus went out from there and comes into His hometown; and His disciples follow Him. 2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him. 4 Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household." 5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.

At one point I argued that this pericope, too, was layered, but Joe Wallack dismantled most of my observations; the only one that lingered still lingers: how can the townsfolk both wonder about the miracles performed by Jesus and simultaneously doubt that he can perform miracles (in verse 6)? Unbelief (= lack of faith) here does not seem to line up with how faith is described elsewhere in Mark, at least not in conjunction with miracles:

Mark 2.4-5: 4 Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. 5 And Jesus seeing their faith says to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 5.30-34: 30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 31 And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”
Mark 10.50-52: 50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51 And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.

And, in other contexts, Jesus is able to work miracles even while surrounded by disbelief or hostility (Mark 3.5; 4.39-40).

So maybe the story started out as a core of Mark 6.1-2, 6b = Mark 1.21-22, 27b, 28. As it circulated, in one stream of tradition it picked up the bit about Jesus' family (Mark 6.3-6a), while in another it picked up an exorcism (Mark 1.23-27a, 27c). Also, in one stream the venue was specified as Nazareth, while in the other it was specified as Capernaum:

Mark 1.21-28: 21 They go into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are — the Holy One of God!" 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

Mark 6.1-6: 1 Jesus went out from there and comes into His hometown; and His disciples follow Him. 2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him. 4 Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household." 5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.

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Re: It's all yours (Was about a non-Nazareth indicator)

Post by spin » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:27 pm

Great exposition, Ben C! I was too lazy for that work ATM. (Recolored for focus…)
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:24 am
So maybe the story started out as a core of Mark 6.1-2, 6b = Mark 1.21-22, 27b, 28. As it circulated, in one stream of tradition it picked up the bit about Jesus' family (Mark 6.3-6a), while in another it picked up an exorcism (Mark 1.23-27a, 27c). Also, in one stream the venue was specified as Nazareth, while in the other it was specified as Capernaum:

Mark 1.21-28: 21 They go into Capernaum; and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and began to teach. 22 They were astonished at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are — the Holy One of God!" 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" 26 Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." 28 Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee.

Mark 6.1-6: 1 Jesus… comes into His hometown; and His disciples follow Him. 2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him. 4 Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household." 5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.

[The "such miracles as these..." is replaced in the first version by the sandwich story of the unclean spirit, but dealt with by the reference to his authority. (Added)]
The Marcan redactional addition in 1:29 ("and immediately having gone out of the synagogue") awkwardly hooks the reworked passage (ending with news spreading) into the fabric of the gospel.

So, looking at the major content difference in the two versions of what appears to be the same brief story, we find the location stands out: his hometown/Capernaum. It is rather unlikely that someone would go from a named location to one unnamed. That means Capernaum is a likely addition, an addition that makes no sense if Nazareth were already in the tradition. This development is prior to the entry of Nazareth to the tradition. (I just have to find the most economical way of including the fact into The Article.)
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