Many will come in my name.

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:59 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:47 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:52 pm
Why is the following motif doubled in Mark 13?

Mark 13.5-6 (before anything else in the discourse): 5 And Jesus began to say to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. 6 Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and will mislead many."

Mark 13.21-22 (after the abomination of desolation): 21 "And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or, 'Behold, He is there,' do not believe him; 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect."

Any ideas?
I see the highlighted portion as a reasonably significant difference b/w the two passages.

Reference to 'the elect' would seem to be interesting as it is said to refer to a particular person or group of people chosen to or for a particular task or relationship, especially eternal life.
Good point. And the elect are also mentioned in verses 20 and 27. These are the only three instances of the word in Mark: all in chapter 13.
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Secret Alias
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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:14 pm

We start with Ἐγώ εἰμι. Y'all recognize that's a name of God right? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ego_eimi Moses claims 'the being' ὁ ὤν told him to say Ἐγώ εἰμι. But in the context of Mark 13 it sounds like it is a prophesy about things going on in 70 CE. Not so sure this was the original context of the statement. The doubling down 'doubles down' on its place as a future prophesy (i.e. that Mark 13 is where the 'liars-saying-'the being'-told-them-to-say-'I am' said so and so or such and such. My guess is that it was originally a (negative) allusion to Moses. The idea is something like God was trying to communicate directly with Moses but Moses pulled the wool over their eyes and misrepresented what God was trying to say (2 Corinthians 3)
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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by neilgodfrey » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:00 pm

Haenchen (in Der Weg Jesu as cited by Ken Olson) points out that by the time of the writing of the gospel of Mark "Christ" had become "a proper name" of Jesus, hence the author and his audience understood the passage to point to any messianic pretenders who gathered followings in the past or to leaders and movements who might well have been interpreted as messianic.

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Secret Alias
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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:17 pm

But saying 'Ἐγώ εἰμι'? Really? On the one hand we want to accept or look for evidence to suggest that Jesus was originally conceived as a divinity. But now Ἐγώ εἰμι means just 'I am'? Really?
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Secret Alias
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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by Secret Alias » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:19 pm

At least Macaskill is open to the connection https://books.google.com/books?id=02SjD ... gQ6AEILzAB
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MrMacSon
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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:39 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:59 pm
MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:47 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:52 pm

Why is the following motif doubled in Mark 13?

Mark 13.5-6 (before anything else in the discourse): 5 And Jesus began to say to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. 6 Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and will mislead many."

Mark 13.21-22 (after the abomination of desolation): 21 "And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or, 'Behold, He is there,' do not believe him; 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect."

Any ideas?
I see the highlighted portion as a reasonably significant difference b/w the two passages.

Reference to 'the elect' would seem to be interesting as it is said to refer to a particular person or group of people chosen to or for a particular task or relationship, especially eternal life.
Good point. And the elect1 are also mentioned in verses 20 and 27. These are the only three instances of the word in Mark1: all in chapter 131.

As KK has pointed out Mk 13:4 refers to sign, as does Mk 13:22, though as plural in relation to plural 'false christs and false prophets' -

Mark 13:4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.

Mark 13:21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.

- but 13:4 asks 'what will be the sign ..?', whereas 13:22 refers to the signs [and wonders of 'the false christs and false prophets'] 'to lead astray', if possible, the elect.

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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by FransJVermeiren » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:44 pm

Which false Christ was showing signs and wonders (Mark 13:22)? Maybe Vespasian, as described by Tacitus (Histories IV:81)?

In the months during which Vespasian was waiting at Alexandria for the periodical return of the summer winds and settled weather at sea, many wonders occurred which seemed to point him out as the object of the favour of heaven and of the partiality of the gods toward him. One of the common people of Alexandria, well known for his blindness, threw himself at the emperor’s knees, and implored him with groans to heal his infirmity. This he did by the advice of the God Serapis, whom this nation, devoted as it is to many superstitions, worships more than any other divinity. He begged Vespasian that he would deign to moisten his cheeks and eye-balls with his spittle. Another with a diseased hand, at the counsel of the same God, prayed Caesar to step and trample on it. At first Vespasian ridiculed and repulsed these appeals.
They persisted; and he, though on the one hand he feared the scandal of a fruitless attempt, yet on the other, was induced by the entreaties of the man and by the language of his flatterers to hope for success. At last he ordered that the opinion of physicians should be taken, as to whether such blindness and infirmity were within the reach of human skill.
They discussed the matter from different points of view. ‘In the one case,’ they said, ‘the faculty of sight was not wholly destroyed, and might return, if the obstacles were removed; in the other case, the limb, which had fallen into a diseased condition, might be restored, if a healing influence were applied; such, perhaps, might be the pleasure of the gods, and the emperor might be chosen to be the minister of the divine will; at any rate, all the glory of a successful remedy would be Caesar’s, while the ridicule of failure would fall on the sufferers.’
And so Vespasian, supposing that all things were possible to his good fortune, and that nothing was any longer past belief, with a joyful countenance, amid the intense expectation of the multitude of bystanders, accomplished what was required. The hand was instantly restored to its use, and the light of day again shone upon the blind. Persons actually present attest both facts, even now when nothing is to be gained by falsehood.
(my emphasis)

Is the description of a man who is the object of the favour of heaven and the partiality of the gods toward him not the description of a Christ/messiah? A false Christ of course, with 'the gods' in plural.

neilgodfrey
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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by neilgodfrey » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:11 am

If we take another leaf from Haenchen we would move the question to a somewhat different context...

Is "Mark" interested in compiling historical information of warnings for times and persons long past by the time he is writing or is he interested in passing on warnings that are relevant to his readers at the time he is writing?

That is, who are those coming in "his name" and saying "I am" around 70 or whatever time Mark was actually writing?

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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:47 am

neil
Is "Mark" interested in compiling historical information of warnings for times and persons long past by the time he is writing or is he interested in passing on warnings that are relevant to his readers at the time he is writing?
Of course we know nothing about the person "Mark," and so cannot know in what he was interested, except for what is on the page (and even then, the page has been stepped on a few times since he would last have seen it). The "historical Mark" is just about as much of a mystery as the "historical Jesus" (including that either one might be entirely a mythical confection of later admirers).
That is, who are those coming in "his name" and saying "I am" around 70 or whatever time Mark was actually writing?
You don't like the ones already mentioned hereabouts as First Century false Christs or outrightly divine "I am" pretenders (including Simon, Apollonius, Vespasian and Titus) and the false apostles (people who'd come in somebody else's name) of whom Paul complains?

If you hum a few bars about how those possibilities are lacking, then we (the community) might collectively be able to come up with some others more to your liking.

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Re: Many will come in my name.

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:15 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:23 pm
What I wonder is whether the same meaning of "sign" is meant in both cases. The signs (plural) in verse 22 are of the miraculous kind ("signs and wonders"), whereas might not the sign (singular) in verse 4 be more along the lines of the kind of sign that simply marks something? In Luke 2.12, for example, finding a baby in a manger is a sign; there is nothing particularly miraculous about a baby in a manger, except insofar as seeing it and understanding it helps one to discern God's will.

In Mark 13, it has long seemed to me that verses 28-31 are the response to the request for a sign:

Mark 13.28-31: 28 Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 30 Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Whatever Mark may think of signs in general, or even in particular, these verses are an appeal to watch for signs (markers, indications) that the coming is near, are they not? Might not this be exactly the sort of thing the disciples are asking for in verse 4?
I think that there is a difference. The events in Mark 13 function as time markers because they have a chronological order according to God's eschatological plan. But they are just events and they say nothing. A sign says something. A classical sign may be if, in an important situation, the eagle of Zeus is flying in the sky. Then this is not just an eagle, but a sign to express the will of Zeus. I think the same kind of sign is mentioned in the LE when the Lord “confirmed the message” of the apostles “by accompanying signs” or when Constantine had a vision of the Chi-Rho symbol.The signs in the Gospel of John seem to have a double function. They are important events in itself, but, beyond this, they are also signs that Jesus is the Christ and the Son of God (John 20:31).

My impression is that there were very different views in early Christianity on how signs happen in our world. I think that in Papias simplehearted world are many clear signs that express God's will in undoubtedly manner. But in a world of clear signs a suffering servant is esteemed “as stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” We know that Elijah must come first and we might expect that he comes in glory with his chariot from heaven. But what is if Elijah appeares as the persecuted John the Baptist? Then things are very complicated and we have to watch out. And things may be even more complicated in a world in which Pagan magicians and Roman emporers produce signs to lead somebody to believe in their divine authority. In such a world are no clear signs and we must learn our lessons from parables.


I'm fully open to the idea that there could be a difference between the sign in Mark 13:4 and the signs and wonders in Mark 13:22. But I think that the function of the double mention in Mark 13 is simply the claim that in the time of tribulation is always the danger of leading astray and that it starts and ends with it.

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