Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:45 pm
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."
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."
My claim here is, not just that Mark used sources, but also that the red bits above were spliced into the pericope at some point. I believe that this extra step is justified for several reasons:
- There is the matter of the exact duplication in the first case, as if to return the flow of the story to the exact point where it departed.
- The red parts of both pericopes above can be cleanly removed from their surroundings, leaving a story which not only still works but indeed is also much more straightforward.
- The red parts of both pericopes above deal with essentially the same subject matter: sin, blasphemy, and forgiveness.
What reason could there be for a single author to line up these themes in two different chapters with the same sort of weird interchange between direct dialogue and narration? Is it just a coincidence? I think, rather, that the same hand inserted this material in basically the same way in both pericopes.