Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:47 am

It's also odd that the text doesn't explain what Judaism is. As one of my late friends who was Jewish said, 'If you didn't know what a Jew was and someone from scratch explained how we act, what we do or what we believe, they wouldn't believe that such a people could have developed from humanity.' This would imply what we know from the anti-Marcionite sources that the earliest followers were proselytes rather than 'Gentiles.' In other words, they already knew what Judaism was. The Jews are a 'niche' people and Judaism a 'niche' religion. They really should have no appeal to anyone who isn't already infected with their 'superstition' for lack of a better world. That the gospel hits the ground running with all these archaic and otherwise inane beliefs unexplained makes absolutely certain who the audience is.
Last edited by Secret Alias on Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:50 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:43 am
Another presumption of reader knowledge in Mark is the concept of Christos/Chrestos.
True. Christ is another of those "needs no introduction" names in the other thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2551.
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:54 am

As a follow up to the 'Jewish' point the implicitly Jewish understanding of the term hamartia is surprising unexplained. Without going through all the other points I will cite Dunn on a related matter "Paul's assumption of his readers' familiarity with and respect for the LXX presupposes a prior knowledge of the LXX which can only have been gained in the synagogue and in the new gatherings in the name of Jesus Messiah."
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:57 am

It has been argued that readers of Mark already knew about the betrayal - https://books.google.com/books?id=aDQCY ... 22&f=false
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:11 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:57 am
It has been argued that readers of Mark already knew about the betrayal - https://books.google.com/books?id=aDQCY ... 22&f=false
Good one. Thanks.
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:40 am

A parallel example from a non-synoptic gospel. Jesus' brothers are referred to with no introduction (John 7:3).
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:44 am

From a footnote in Lane's book on Mark:

Mark refers to the saying of Jesus recorded in Jn. 2:19 in Ch. 15:29, where it is clearly assumed that the reader has prior knowledge of these words from an earlier part of the Gospel. It is clear that Mark has taken the taunt concerning the Temple from the account of the proceedings before the Sanhedrin handed down by apostolic tradition. It is precisely because Ch. 14:53-65 contains verse 58, which clearly alludes to words Jesus had actually spoken, that the appearance before the Sanhedrin is proved to be authentic tradition and an integral part of Mark's Gospel.
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:51 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:44 am
From a footnote in Lane's book on Mark:

Mark refers to the saying of Jesus recorded in Jn. 2:19 in Ch. 15:29, where it is clearly assumed that the reader has prior knowledge of these words from an earlier part of the Gospel. It is clear that Mark has taken the taunt concerning the Temple from the account of the proceedings before the Sanhedrin handed down by apostolic tradition. It is precisely because Ch. 14:53-65 contains verse 58, which clearly alludes to words Jesus had actually spoken, that the appearance before the Sanhedrin is proved to be authentic tradition and an integral part of Mark's Gospel.
Crossan attempts to trace that saying's development and interpretation, as well, and IIRC his analysis requires previous knowledge behind the gospels.
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:38 pm

More on something you already noted:

The authorial audience's pre-existent knowledge of and positive esteem for the disciples becomes apparent in the straightforward narration of the immediate response of Simon, Andrew, James, and John to Jesus' call to leave work and family and follow him (1.18, 20), the designation of the twelve as apostles who are to preach and have authority to cast out demons (3.14-15), the special name given to Simon (3.16), and the twelve's successful mission to proclaim, cast out demons and heal (6.12-13). Neutral rhetorical strategies also indicate beliefs that the disciples of Jesus witnessed Jesus' resurrection as Jesus said they would (16.7; cf. 14.28) and proclaimed the gospel (13.10). The introduction of this information without attempts to explain or justify the positive implications for the disciples, especially in the first three chapters of Mark indicates a significant pre-existing knowledge and positive valuation of them by the authorial audience. https://books.google.com/books?id=7bbUA ... 22&f=false
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Re: Presumptions of reader knowledge in Mark.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:13 pm

Secret Alias wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:38 pm
More on something you already noted:

The authorial audience's pre-existent knowledge of and positive esteem for the disciples becomes apparent in the straightforward narration of the immediate response of Simon, Andrew, James, and John to Jesus' call to leave work and family and follow him (1.18, 20), the designation of the twelve as apostles who are to preach and have authority to cast out demons (3.14-15), the special name given to Simon (3.16), and the twelve's successful mission to proclaim, cast out demons and heal (6.12-13). Neutral rhetorical strategies also indicate beliefs that the disciples of Jesus witnessed Jesus' resurrection as Jesus said they would (16.7; cf. 14.28) and proclaimed the gospel (13.10). The introduction of this information without attempts to explain or justify the positive implications for the disciples, especially in the first three chapters of Mark indicates a significant pre-existing knowledge and positive valuation of them by the authorial audience. https://books.google.com/books?id=7bbUA ... 22&f=false
This dovetails with some of my observations on another thread from a while ago: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3049.
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