Ben C. Smith wrote: ↑Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:09 pm
To summarize, I think that the author of the gospel of Mark was writing for readers who already knew at least certain parts of the story ...
.. readers are expected to know (i) both that [John the baptist] was imprisoned and that he had disciples ... (ii) Jesus was betrayed; (iii) who Pilate is [Mk 15]; 9iv) who Alexander and Rufus are [in Mark 15.21], and (v) at least something about the women at the cross ...
This analysis says nothing about whether what Mark's first readers knew came from historical facts, from legendary tales, or from previous gospel texts.
Another possibility is knowledge of these components of the story via another community, or via another [sub-] group in Mark's community. Perhaps communities or groups with different but similar gospels (that they are discussing among themselves)?
Note mention of both Pilate and Alexander and Rufus are in Mark chapter 15.
Mark 1.16 seems to presume that readers will already know who Simon [Peter] is. Unlike most characters in the gospel, Simon is given no introduction by nickname, patronymic, or any of the usual manners; and his brother, Andrew, is identified by his relationship to Simon.
... he may simply have been known as a famous Christian apostle.
Perhaps a reflection of a composite figure throughout the NT books? Perhaps recently reified as one character? (+/- the father of Alexander & Rufus)
3. The son of man.
The gospel of Mark uses the title "son of man" in a way which seems to expect its readers already to know what it means. Mark 2.10 and 2.28 may be using the phrase "son of man" to mean "human," which is one of its main functions as a Semitic idiom. But in Mark 8.31 it means something more, and this "something more," as a title for Jesus, is never really explained, leaving modern scholars to write entire monographs on the topic.
The title "son of man" may not be a story element at all, but rather an element of early Christian theology.
I wonder if readers might have been expected to know if 'the Son of Man' was an exegesis or midrash of Jewish Hebrew use of 'a son of man' (?)
All these mentions in Mark are in places of authority -
Mk 8:38 is a passage that shames and contrasts 'a man' who may lose or exchange his soul with 'the Son of Man' who will "come in the glory of His Father with the holy angels".