Let the reader understand... Again

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Ken Olson
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ken Olson » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:36 pm

John2 wrote:
I gather you see these official proceedings as taking place after 70 CE, and while I do think Mark was written c. 70 CE, the context of Mk. 13 is presented as being Jesus' words pre-70 CE. And I find what Jesus says in Mk. 13 lines up well with what Josephus says about the lead up to and outcome of the 66-70 CE war (including seeing the abomination of desolation), and 13:9-11 also seems applicable to a pre-70 CE context.

Mk. 13.9-11:
You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
I'm talking about official Roman persecution by a governor with the power to put people to death and interrogate under torture, such as I think is implied by Mark 13.12-13:
Mark 13.12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Also, you skipped the explicit prediction of the destruction of the temple in Mark 13:1-2.
John 2: Cf. Cor. 11:12-13: Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones ... I have been in danger ... from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles ... In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.
I'm not talking about local persecution or even imprisonment by Roman authorities (perhaps on local complaints) but capital cases. Paul says he has been exposed to death again and again and that he's faced danger from various sources, including shipwreck. Are you taking this as evidence that Christians were brought up on capital charges and put do death by Roman governors in Paul's time? Does Paul mention that Christians who have actually been put to death by the Roman authorities? What would suggest a situation such as that described in Mark 13:12-13?
John 2: James 2:6-7: But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
Again, any evidence of Christians being put to death here? (Actually, I'd want to see some evidence that this is a pre-70 text as well).

neilgodfrey
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by neilgodfrey » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:50 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:36 pm
Does Paul mention that Christians who have actually been put to death by the Roman authorities? What would suggest a situation such as that described in Mark 13:12-13?
Which reminds me of the injunction in Romans 13 to be subject to god-ordained authorities. One would expect a caveat if emperor worship was a problem. But why would emperor worship not have been a problem for Paul's churches?

Moreover, what if Romans 13 is indeed part of a later "pastoral stratum" that has been interpolated into Romans? In that case, one does wonder when emperor worship was seen as a dilemma for the Christians responsible for that instruction.

What do we make of the apparent silence in the epistles on the problem Mark was apparently depicting as the most severe of troubles for the followers of Jesus?

John2
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by John2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:28 pm

Ken wrote:
I'm talking about official Roman persecution by a governor with the power to put people to death and interrogate under torture, such as I think is implied by Mark 13.12-13:

"Mark 13.12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13 and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved."
I don't get that impression from Mk. 13:12-13 but I suppose it is possible. To me it sounds more like what Josephus says about the Fourth Philosophic climate in Ant. 18.1.1 and War 2.13.3:
... there were also very great robberies and murder of our principal men ... murders of men, which sometimes fell on those of their own people ... the infection ... spread thence among the younger sort, who were zealous for it ...
... there sprang up another sort of robbers in Jerusalem, which were called Sicarii, who slew men in the day time, and in the midst of the city; this they did chiefly at the festivals, when they mingled themselves among the multitude, and concealed daggers under their garments, with which they stabbed those that were their enemies; and when any fell down dead, the murderers became a part of those that had indignation against them; by which means they appeared persons of such reputation, that they could by no means be discovered. The first man who was slain by them was Jonathan the high priest, after whose death many were slain every day ... the fear men were in of being so served was more afflicting than the calamity itself ... every body expected death every hour ...
Ken wrote:
Also, you skipped the explicit prediction of the destruction of the temple in Mark 13:1-2.
I see this as happening after the above signs, since 13:4 says, "Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

Ken wrote:
I'm not talking about local persecution or even imprisonment by Roman authorities (perhaps on local complaints) but capital cases. Paul says he has been exposed to death again and again and that he's faced danger from various sources, including shipwreck. Are you taking this as evidence that Christians were brought up on capital charges and put do death by Roman governors in Paul's time? Does Paul mention that Christians who have actually been put to death by the Roman authorities? What would suggest a situation such as that described in Mark 13:12-13?
I see Paul's imprisonment and flogging and escape from Aretas as relating to Mk. 13:9-11 rather than to 13:12-13. So for me the latter has nothing to do with being "brought up on capital charges and put do death by Roman governors in Paul's time," but rather it refers to the Fourth Philosophic climate of murder that Josephus describes.

Mk. 13:9-11:
You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
Paul does talk about various hardships, among which are being imprisoned and being flogged with forty lashes minus one (which is a judicial punishment based on Dt. 25:3: "but the judge must not impose more than forty lashes. If the guilty party is flogged more than that, your fellow Israelite will be degraded in your eyes"). And Paul arguably wasn't the only Christian punished this way, since he says in 2 Cor. 11:22-23, "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely ..."

Ken wrote regarding James 2:6-7:
Again, any evidence of Christians being put to death here? (Actually, I'd want to see some evidence that this is a pre-70 text as well).
Well, not there, but I don't think it is necessary given my understanding of Mk. 13:12-13 above. However, James 5:6 does say, "You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you." And this seems in keeping with what Paul says in Gal. 1:13, that he had persecuted the church "intensely" and tried to "destroy" it before his conversion ("For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it").

And I don't think it can be proven that the Letter of James is pre-70 CE. It is only my opinion, which is based on the content of the letter and what we do know about it. That it was not cited until Origen does not seem like an issue to me, since I take James to be a Jewish Christian writing, one that, in any event, is addressed solely to Jewish Christians (unlike Paul's letters). That it is apparently very anti-Pauline may have also contributed to its late acceptance among the orthodox. And while it cannot be proven, I have the impression that prior to this Hegesippus was aware of the Letter of James. I think what he says is at least in keeping with what the letter says.
Trouble with you is the trouble with me, we got two good eyes but we still don't see.

Ken Olson
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ken Olson » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:25 pm

Neil Godfrey wrote:
Just for the record, Ernst Haenchen (apparently Ken's source) acknowledges that these events were taking place as early as Paul's own missionary activity (pp.441f).
Neil, when you say "these events" did you mean to include Mark 13.-12-13 and 14-20, about Roman officials putting Christians to death (after refusing to venerate the emperor's image)? I didn't understand Haenchen to be saying that was happening as early as Paul (and I'd have to disagree with him if he did). He relates the standing before governors and kings in v. 9 to Paul (441) and the preaching of the gospel to all nations in v. 10 (442). He's a little bit vague, but he says that the fear expressed in Mark 13 is intensified beyond that already present in the Pauline epistles (443).

Ken Olson
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ken Olson » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:05 pm

John2 wrote:
I don't get that impression from Mk. 13:12-13 but I suppose it is possible. To me it sounds more like what Josephus says about the Fourth Philosophic climate in Ant. 18.1.1 and War 2.13.3:
... there were also very great robberies and murder of our principal men ... murders of men, which sometimes fell on those of their own people ... the infection ... spread thence among the younger sort, who were zealous for it ...
... there sprang up another sort of robbers in Jerusalem, which were called Sicarii, who slew men in the day time, and in the midst of the city; this they did chiefly at the festivals, when they mingled themselves among the multitude, and concealed daggers under their garments, with which they stabbed those that were their enemies; and when any fell down dead, the murderers became a part of those that had indignation against them; by which means they appeared persons of such reputation, that they could by no means be discovered. The first man who was slain by them was Jonathan the high priest, after whose death many were slain every day ... the fear men were in of being so served was more afflicting than the calamity itself ... every body expected death every hour ...
This seems like an extremely odd reading to me. You have the activity of the Sicarii interrupting a passage about the persecution of Christians. Mark 13.9-11 talks about Christians being "delivered up" for trials of various sorts, then Mark 13.12 talks about family members delivering each other up or having each other put to death, then 13.13 says you (Jesus' audience or Mark's audience) will be hated by all for my name's sake and he who endures to the end will be saved. I see little similarity between Mark 12.12 and the passages you quote for Josephus except that it's a bad situation in which a lot of people are killed.
9 “But take heed to yourselves; for they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say; but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 13 and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Why should we understand v. 12 as being about the Sicarii killing (mostly) non Christians, interrupting two verses about Christians, and why would Mark start it off with "brother will deliver up brother to death" using language Mark has just used for people being brought to trial, but here meaning murder in the streets, and why all the family language?

John2
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by John2 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:23 pm

Good questions, Ken. I need to give this some more thought.
Trouble with you is the trouble with me, we got two good eyes but we still don't see.

neilgodfrey
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by neilgodfrey » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:29 pm

Ken Olson wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:25 pm
Neil Godfrey wrote:
Just for the record, Ernst Haenchen (apparently Ken's source) acknowledges that these events were taking place as early as Paul's own missionary activity (pp.441f).
Neil, when you say "these events" did you mean to include Mark 13.-12-13 and 14-20, about Roman officials putting Christians to death (after refusing to venerate the emperor's image)? I didn't understand Haenchen to be saying that was happening as early as Paul (and I'd have to disagree with him if he did). He relates the standing before governors and kings in v. 9 to Paul (441) and the preaching of the gospel to all nations in v. 10 (442). He's a little bit vague, but he says that the fear expressed in Mark 13 is intensified beyond that already present in the Pauline epistles (443).
No, I did not mean to include Roman officials putting Christians to death (for any reason). I was looking at H's reference to being scourged in synagogues and being brought before kings (as per Paul per Acts) along with the mission of preaching the gospel to all nations -- as you point out.

My comment was overly narrow addressing only an immediate remark and failing to address the broader context in which it appeared. Mea culpa.

John2
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by John2 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:09 am

Ken,

I'm anything but a Greek expert so any feedback from you or others is welcome, but I've been taking a look at how "delivered up" (παραδώσει) is used in the NT and it doesn't seem to necessarily always imply being delivered up to trial. It looks like it depends on what the person or thing is that is being delivered up and which is typically explained. For examples, in 1 Cor. 11:23 Paul says that he "delivered" his teaching to his followers (which I reckon is a good thing) that Jesus had been "delivered up":
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered (παρέδωκα/paredoka), that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed (παρεδίδετο/paredideto) took bread ...


And in Mk. 4:29 the fruit being handed over is a good thing because it's what the Kingdom of God is like:
But when the fruit is brought forth (παραδοῖ/paradoi), immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.


And in Mk. 7:13 it is used to describe the Pharisees' oral Torah that they delivered to their followers (which is bad from Jesus' point of view but good from the Pharisees' point of view):
Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down (παρεδώκατε/paredokate).


And in 1 Cor. 5:5 Paul says that a wayward follower is to be "delivered" to Satan:
... you are to deliver (παραδοῦναι/paradounai) this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
So to me it looks like the meaning of "delivered up" depends on what the person or thing is being delivered up to, and in Mk. 13:9 (which also applies to 13:11) Jesus says that this is "the courts" and "the synagogues" (and which may or may not lead to death since he says "do not worry beforehand" and is supported by Paul's arrests and flogging in 2 Cor. 11:23):
You will be handed over (παραδώσουσιν/paradosousin) to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues ...
Then Mk. 13:12 says brother will deliver brother to death, which to me implies murdering them rather than handing them over to trial, since Jesus says "do not worry beforehand" regarding being delivered up to trial in 13:11, and in 13:12 he goes on to say that children will "rise against" their parents, or epanastestonai, which appears to imply "to attack" them:
And brother will deliver (παραδώσει/paradosei) brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against (ἐπαναστήσονται/epanastestonai) parents and have them put to death.


And this "rising against" appears to also be used in LXX Dt. 19:11 (where it is based on the Hebrew קוּם/qum, which doesn't appear to have anything to do with a trial) and appears to mean to attack or murder there:
But if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him and strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities ...
So I'm still inclined to see Mk. 13:12 as referring to the murders that took place before the Temple was destroyed, which Josephus says "sometimes fell on those of their own people" in Ant. 18.1.1.
Trouble with you is the trouble with me, we got two good eyes but we still don't see.

Ken Olson
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ken Olson » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:47 pm

This is a very delayed response to John2's post from March 19.

John2,

You seem quite committed to your reading of Mark 13.12 as referring to the murders committed by the Sicarii in Judea prior to the outbreak of the Jewish War, and I doubt trying to persuade you otherwise would be a productive use of my time. But perhaps others on the list may be interested in seeing how different proposed readings of a verse can be evaluated.
John2: I'm anything but a Greek expert so any feedback from you or others is welcome, but I've been taking a look at how "delivered up" (παραδώσει) is used in the NT and it doesn't seem to necessarily always imply being delivered up to trial. It looks like it depends on what the person or thing is that is being delivered up and which is typically explained. For examples, in 1 Cor. 11:23 Paul says that he "delivered" his teaching to his followers (which I reckon is a good thing) that Jesus had been "delivered up".
1 Cor 11.23: For I received from the Lord what I also delivered (παρέδωκα/paredoka), that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed (παρεδίδετο/paredideto) took bread ...


[further examples snipped]

While I'm a big fan of looking at the Greek in most cases, I think the point in dispute is fairly clear in the English translations and the Greek you introduce is a distraction from the issue at hand. Yes, of course, παραδώσει ,"delivered up", or "handed over," will have different effects according to who or what is being handed over and who or what to. And of course “it doesn't seem to necessarily always imply being delivered up to trial.” The point is that it can mean that, and that it does mean that in Mk. 13.9 and 11 in the same pericope. I do not think you have offered any credible justification for thinking Mark meant something else in v. 12, nor for thinking v. 12 is addressing something affecting Jews, and particularly the members of the Fourth Philosophy, in Judea whereas the verses immediately before and after it (13.9-11 and 13) are discussing the persecution of Christians.
John2: So to me it looks like the meaning of "delivered up" depends on what the person or thing is being delivered up to, and in Mk. 13:9 (which also applies to 13:11) Jesus says that this is "the courts" and "the synagogues" (and which may or may not lead to death since he says "do not worry beforehand" and is supported by Paul's arrests and flogging in 2 Cor. 11:23):
2 Cor. 11:23: You will be handed over (παραδώσουσιν/paradosousin) to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues ...
[further examples snipped]

The result of being “delivered up” or “handed over” might vary according to who or what is handed over and who or what it/they are handed over to, but that doesn’t change the meaning of the word itself. I agree that being handed over to the court may or may not result in a death sentence. This means in some cases it did result in death.
John2: Then Mk. 13:12 says brother will deliver brother to death, which to me implies murdering them rather than handing them over to trial, since Jesus says "do not worry beforehand" regarding being delivered up to trial in 13:11, and in 13:12 he goes on to say that children will "rise against" their parents, or epanastestonai, which appears to imply "to attack" them:
It seems to me that you are introducing an arbitrary and unjustified distinction here. You can cause someone’s death by legal means, which is why we have the term “judicial murder” in English. Since in some cases handing over to trial on a capital charge would bring about death, and we know that divisions within families is an issue for New Testament era Christians, brother handing brother over to death can most plausibly be understood as continuing the thoughts expressed in 13.9-11. You seem to be arguing that since denouncing someone on a capital charge does not lead to their deaths in all cases, it does not fit Mark 13.12. On the contrary, if such a denunciation results in execution in any cases it fulfills Mark 13:14’s “betray/deliver/hand over … to death.”

You also seem to imply a second, supporting argument about Jesus’ instruction not to worry beforehand, but it’s not spelled out. I take it that you mean since Jesus says not to worry, it means the trial won’t result in death. Two problems here: the passage says not to worry beforehand specifically about what to say during the trial, not about the outcome of the trial. The second is that Mark is not worried about Christians being martyred during persecutions (he’s all for that); his fear is that they will apostatize (I argued this earlier in the thread with reference to Mark 8.34-38). Hence the instruction to speak what the holy spirit gives them.
Mark 13:12: And brother will deliver (παραδώσει/paradosei) brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against (ἐπαναστήσονται/epanastestonai) parents and have them put to death.

John2: And this "rising against" appears to also be used in LXX Dt. 19:11 (where it is based on the Hebrew קוּם/qum, which doesn't appear to have anything to do with a trial) and appears to mean to attack or murder there:
Deut 19.11: But if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him and strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities ...
“Rising against” (the preposition EPI “against” with the verb ANISTHMI “rise”) means to initiate action against someone. It often has the sense of attack, yes (though not necessarily a physical attack); but it does not imply murder and I don’t think you’ll find that meaning in any Greek lexicon. Deuteronomy 19.11 specifies not only “rising against” but adds “AND strikes him fatally so that he dies” because just “rising against” by itself would not necessarily mean a fatal attack. Similarly, Mark 13.12 specifies: “children will rise against parents AND have them put to death” because “rising against” would not carry that connotation by itself. The verb used there, QANATOW, does mean kill, but usually in the sense of “have put to death” rather than murder directly with one’s own hands. The verb is used in this usual sense in its only other occurrence in Mark (14:55): “the chief priests and the whole council sought testimony against Jesus to put to him to death.”

Your argument from LXX Deuteronomy is based on an illegitimate use of the concept of context. You can’t just find a context where the word you’re looking at is accompanied by a second word which bears a certain meaning and then substitute the meaning of the second word for the first on the grounds that the first word appears in a context where that meaning also occurs.

Additionally, I think it would be useful to look at the way our earliest known interpreters of Mark understood v. 13.12 in its context:
Luke 21.12-18: “But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will give you an opportunity to testify. 14 So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; 15 for I will give you words[c] and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 You will be hated by all because of my name. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your souls.
Would you agree that Luke 13.16 is the Lukan version of Mark 13.12, and that Luke has understood the handing over by brothers, parents, relatives and friends as something that occurs in the context of the persecution and trials of Christians (note his use of the second person plural “you”)? Do you want to argue Luke is somehow referring to the murders committed by the Sicarii in Palestine, or that he has misunderstood Mark or changed his meaning? As a second point, would you agree that since v. 16 says they will “put some of you to death” but then vv 18-19 say that “not a hair on your head will perish” and “by your endurance you will gain you souls,” that Luke is saying that even those who lose their temporal lives in these trials will gain eternal lives? I think this is a very plausible reading of Mark and Luke has got him right.

Matthew is a more complex case. Because he largely repeats the language of Mark 13.9-13 at the key points in Matt 10.17-22 (esp. v. 21) rather than paraphrasing it as Luke does, it’s less obvious how Matthew interprets Mark 13.12. Nevertheless, since Matthew places 10.21 within Missionary Discourse in Matt 10 and not the Eschatological Discourse in Matt 24 (where Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple), we may reasonably infer that Matt saw 10.21 as something that happened to Christians in the course of their missions and not as something that happened among non-Christian Jews prior to outbreak of the Jewish War and the destruction of the temple.
John2: So I'm still inclined to see Mk. 13:12 as referring to the murders that took place before the Temple was destroyed, which Josephus says "sometimes fell on those of their own people" in Ant. 18.1.1.
You haven't produced any good reason for holding your theory in the first place. The question isn’t whether you can find reasons to dismiss the reading that disagrees with yours as possibly wrong, because all readings are possibly wrong. It’s whether you can show that your reading fits the evidence better. I will for the moment assume that when you say things like “it seems to me” or “it sounds to me like” you don’t mean to suggest that this a purely personal reaction, but rather you mean that you think you have given evidence that would persuade others of your reading. And it seems to me (based on the arguments I’ve given) you have not done so. In particular, you haven’t pointed out any striking parallels between Mark 13.12 and Josephus’ description of the murders committed by Sicarii, you’ve just quoted both passages and said you think Mark was referring to the murders committed by the followers of the Fourth Philosophy. That the murders committed by the followers of the Fourth Philosophy “sometimes fell on those of their own people,” presumably other factions within the Fourth Philosophy (“by the madness of these men towards one another, while their desire was that none of the adverse party might be left”), hardly equates to Mark’s language of “delivering up” within nuclear families.

Modern scholars can possibly be wrong in their readings of texts. They sometimes are. And an evangelist could possibly switch from one sense of a word to another within the same pericope, and could possibly switch from one topic in one verse to another in the following verse and then back to the first topic in the verse after that. And the earliest interpreters could possibly have misunderstood or deliberately changed the meaning of a text. But the burden of proof would be on you to show that all these things happened. Instead, you are dismissing a reading that is supported by evidence in favor of one that is not. It seems like you are guided by something other than evidence found in the texts.
Last edited by Ken Olson on Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

jude77
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by jude77 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:22 pm

John T wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:20 am
gmx wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:10 am
Can someone explain to me what the reader is supposed to do with their understanding in Mark 13:14-17? If it refers to the first Jewish war, then isn't it too late to be issuing warnings to flee? It sounds like the author knows what happened. The nod & wink to the reader doesn't seem to make sense in this context. I'm sure there is a simple explanation.
Jesus is warning the readers/followers not to return the temple upon hearing news that the messiah has arrived. Mark 13:21-23. The reader is being forewarned with enough details about the false messiah and future events, so as to not fall into a death trap.

It was written without the knowledge of the first Jewish war (70 CE). However, Christians read into this today knowing the temple was destroyed in 70 CE and interpret it to mean that the temple must be rebuilt so as to fulfill this prediction.

Sincerely,

John T
John T, that is the best, and most original, exegesis of that passage I've ever heard. Do you have a source on that, or did you come up with it yourself. I'd like to follow up on it.

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