The Purpose of John Compared with Mark

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Post Reply
Charles Wilson
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

The Purpose of John Compared with Mark

Post by Charles Wilson » Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:34 pm

Mark 16: 6 (RSV):

[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.

John 20: 6 - 7 (RSV):

[6] Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying,
[7] and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.

This might be a "Of all the differences between Mark and John, you have to look at this?!??" kind of a Post.

All of the Gospels add, subtract and tell a slightly different version of a Set of Events. John at times doesn't even appear to tell the same story as Mark, with a different Ministry, the funny - as in "strange" - "Day of Preparation" material. "There could not have been 2 Crucifixions" - Or could there have been? The Eucharist is not even apparent in John save for mysterious meanderings in chapter 7. And so on.

All endlessly examined wih the usual suspects on parade. Something, however, piqued my interest recently.

Mark 14: 54 (RSV):

[54] And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, and warming himself at the fire.

John is different:

John 18: 25 (RSV):

[25] Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said to him, "Are not you also one of his disciples?" He denied it and said, "I am not."

"Sitting, standing...What's the difference"? I take it that here, at least, Mark and John are telling the same Story. Except that, in the Courtyard of the Temple there was a place where you could warm yourself and you could not sit on one side of the fire and a place where you could sit. There was an entrance, a door, to the Holy Place and if you went through it to the "Holy Side", you were prohibited from sitting.

Is John telling "The Rest of the Story?" here?

John 19: 13 (Moffatt):

[13] On hearing this, Pilate brought Jesus out and seated him on the tribunal at a spot called the 'mosaic pavement' - the Hebrew name is Gabbatha
[14] (it was the Day of the Preparation, about noon), "There is your king", he said to the Jews

Yikes! Talk about "Corrections"!
As far as I tell, there was no "Mosaic pavement" in Jerusalem. There is in Caesarea!
John gives us another nugget in the "Gambling over the Garments" section. There are 4 garments one of which is a seamless tunic.

There is a Story that works in the other direction - "The Squall". In John 6, a brief summary of the miracle is given, "...and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going." Mark's is MUCH more detailed:

Mark 4: 38 - 39 (RSV):

[38] But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care if we perish?"
[39] And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

This is a puzzle. If it is important to "Correct the Record" for Mark, why not here?

One final note:

Mark 1: 7 (RSV):

[7] And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.

John has much more:

John 1: 15 (and the verses following...), 27, 29 -37 (RSV):

[15] (John bore witness to him, and cried, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.'")
...
[27] even he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie."
...
[29] The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
[30] This is he of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.'
[31] I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel."
[32] And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.
[33] I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
[34] And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."
[35] The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples;
[36] and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"
[37] The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.

John is giving an explanation of the single verse in Mark and what an explanation it is!

John is of Bilgah and Serves at the Temple ahead of Immer. Bilgah has committed an Offense against the Priesthood and is deprecated in the eyes of the Priesthood. Hence, Bilgah is before Immer and yet is not worthy of being ahead of Immer. Verse 33 gives the Roman part of the NT away. Mark and John are therefore aware of the entire Story. John may or may not be "correcting" Mark but something like it occurring.

There is more, of course, but there is a tension between the 2 that doesn't appear to be explainable by the Standard Critiques.

CW

Kunigunde Kreuzerin
Posts: 1325
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact:

Re: The Purpose of John Compared with Mark

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:33 am

.
The purpose of this post is just to draw attention to an interesting indifference in GMark 15:6-15 (the Barabbas scene) and what John perhaps had to say about it.

In the traditional iconography, both Jesus and Barabbas stood before Pilate and the crowd had to choose between the two candidates.
Barabbas.jpg
Barabbas.jpg (158.46 KiB) Viewed 705 times

1) The not so interesting question: Did Barabbas stand before Pilate and the crowd?

It isn't explicitly said that Barabbas was not there, but this seems to be the most obvious interpretation of all four gospels. We may assume that he was not there, but in prison.

Mark 15 Matthew 27 Luke 23 John 18
[6] Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. [7] And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. [8] And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.

[15] And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
[14] And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. [15] Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. [16] And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

[26] Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
[18] And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: [19] Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.
...
[24] And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. [25] And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
[39] But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? [40] Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.


2) The more interesting question: Was Jesus before Pilate and the crowd?

There is a nice contradiction between Luke and John. In GLuke Pilate questioned Jesus before the chief priests and the rulers and the Jewish people. But in GJohn Pilate questioned Jesus in the praetorium and all Jews were outside.

Luke 23 John 18
[1] And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. [2] And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. [3] And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it. [4] Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
...
[13] And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, [14] Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
[28] Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. [29] Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
...
[33] Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? [34] Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? [35] Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? [36] Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. [37] Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. [38] Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.


But I find it more interesting that there is a great indifference in GMark an GMatthew because I think that there is no way to decide the question whether Jesus was present during the conversation between Pilate and the crowd or not.

Mark 15 Matthew 27
[5] But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. [6] Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. [7] And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. [8] And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. [9] But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? [10] For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. [11] But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. [12] And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? [13] And they cried out again, Crucify him. [14] Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. [15] And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. [14] And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. [15] Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. [16] And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. [17] Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? [18] For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. [19] When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. [20] But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. [21] The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. [22] Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. [23] And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. [24] When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. [25] Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. [26] Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. [27] Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.


3) The most interesting question: Did Mark's Jewish people understand that one of the candidates was Jesus?

The possibility in GMark and GMatthew that neither Barabbas nor Jesus were present during the conversation between Pilate and the crowd opens the question whether Mark') Jewish people understood that one of the candidates was „Jesus“.

In GMatthew it is completely clear that the crowds understood that Jesus was one of the candidates.
[17] Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? [18] For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. [19] When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. [20] But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. [21] The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. [22] Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.


But in GMark Pilate spoke only about the „King of the Jews“ and Jesus was never called „King of the Jews“ before that scene. And it is only Pilate who claimed that the people called Jesus „King of the Jews“.
[8] And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. [9] But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? [10] For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. [11] But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. [12] And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? [13] And they cried out again, Crucify him. [14] Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. [15] And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.


4) John's answer and Matthew's correction

I assume that all of our forum members are so friendly to see my points but would think that it is too far-fetched to conclude that Mark's Jewish people didn't understand that one of the candidates was Jesus. And I basically agree with that. It is just a possibility and not the most obvious one.

But it seems to me that both Matthew and John understood Mark in this way (or feared such an interpretation of GMark). Therefore Matthew corrected Mark and John made an interesting variation in which his understanding of GMark is still apparent. In GJohn the Jews neither understand nor accept Jesus as the King of the Jews but Pilate made efforts to present Jesus to the people as their King.

John 18-19
[39] But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?[40] Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

[2] And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, [3] And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. [4] Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. [5] Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

[14] And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! [15] But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priest answered, We have no king but Caesar.


It seems to me that in the vanishing point – so to speak - of GMatthew and GJohn is an interpretation of GMark 15:6-15 that Mark's Jewish people didn't understand that Jesus was one of the candidates and that they didn't identify the title „King of the Jews“ with Jesus.

Charles Wilson
Posts: 1161
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Re: The Purpose of John Compared with Mark

Post by Charles Wilson » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:59 am

KK --

Beautifully written. I'm not going to Post for awhile except to correct the Record here:
Charles Wilson wrote:As far as I tell, there was no "Mosaic pavement" in Jerusalem. There is in Caesarea!
This view, to quote Saint Haldeman, is "Inoperative".

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... jerusalem/

More later...Soon...Any day now... mebbe...

CW

Paul the Uncertain
Posts: 264
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:25 am
Contact:

Re: The Purpose of John Compared with Mark

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:58 am

Good call, KK.
It seems to me that in the vanishing point – so to speak - of GMatthew and GJohn is an interpretation of GMark 15:6-15 that Mark's Jewish people didn't understand that Jesus was one of the candidates and that they didn't identify the title „King of the Jews“ with Jesus.
Or perhaps they overtly chose "The son of the Father" to survive as opposed to some unfamiliar royal pretender, and maybe even never knew that they had picked the "wrong" guy. Nobody from the in-group attends Jesus' crucifixion close-up, gawd only knows whether his own mother could recognize him after he's been half-flayed. And the sign says "King of the Jews." So, anybody who cares to check how the "trial" turned out finally might say,"Yup, always-friendly Pilate went along with our suggestion. He's such a mensch."

(If it needs to be said, I mean all that to pertain to the story-universe of Mark, and I'm not making any claim about the truth of the matter.)

I don't see that Mark is bitterly anti-semitic, and the entirely realistic potential for unruliness and confusion whenever multitudes gather runs throughout the performance, a theme "announced" when the determined seekers dismantle the roof over Jesus' head, and carried forward as Jesus gets pushed successively to the shoreline with a rescue boat standing by and then onto a boat from the outset.

John? He seems both less friendly to Jewish thinking than Mark, and also seems determined to improve Mark even at the purely literary level ("Jesus Christ, Mark, where did you learn how to write a dramatic trial scene?").

Post Reply