Hi Andrew,andrewcriddle wrote: ↑Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:42 amBrown's point is that IF an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter were both part of the pre-Gospel tradition then most of the agreement between Mark and John follows necessarily from the attempt to write a continuous narrative. (There are some agreements in vocabulary which might imply that the present form of John has been assimilated slightly to the synoptic tradition but this does not involve the basic structure of the two narratives.) Whether or not the writer had a personal fondness for intercalation, they have to tell the story in a way that appears intercalated.
That's one of Brown's points, yes. I was responding to his claims, contra Donahue's claim that the sandwiching of Jesus' trial within the story of Peter's denial fit the pattern of a Markan intercalation, that (1) "[Mark] is describing two simultaneous actions, and that is not a feature of intercalation,” and (2) "Donahue's schema does not account for 14.53, which does not fit the pattern" (both from Death 2.427). Both of Brown's claims are wrong; or, rather, they seem to presuppose a standard for what cannot be considered a Markan intercalation that is arbitrary (i.e., Brown simply stipulates them without demonstration).
But let's look at the point you raise here. It is not true that "Whether or not the writer had a personal fondness for intercalation, they have to tell the story in a way that appears intercalated" because Luke managed to narrate the story of the Denial and Trial without making them appear intercalated. John was not forced by necessity to independently invent intercalation. The more usual way an ancient author would use to imply simultaneity of two stories is to introduce the one he tells second with "At the same time" or something similar.
Parallels to Markan intercalation are rare in ancient literature. I'm not actually aware of any outside the gospel tradition, but I haven't read all of ancient literature. Craig Evans suggests Achilles Tatius' Clitophon and Leucippe as a parallel. In 2.2.1, the narrator is telling the story of a dinner and interrupts it to tell origin of the Dionysus myth before returning to the dinner [Evans, "Peter Warming Himself," JBL 101.2 (1982) 245-249]. If this is the closest parallel to a Markan intercalation in ancient literature (which I doubt) then Markan intercalation is unparalleled. In fact, the narrator notes that the time of the dinner was at hand and that it was the feast of Dionysus, and then digresses to explain the origin of the fest of Dionysius before returning to the main storyline. But such digressions and resumptions where an author gives greater detail on things mentioned in the main storyline do not much resemble Markan interpolations in which individual episodes are interrupted with complete other episodes. But even if there are better examples of the technique of intercalation in ancient literature, they would appear to be unusual. We have many examples of authors saying an episode happened "at the same time" as another episode and few of authors inserting one episode into another. We cannot assume that John was forced to invent intercalation to suggest that two events were happening simultaneously. Mark's technique is distinctive (if not unparalleled).
So let me quote Brown here:
I’ve already dealt with Brown’s claim that the intercalation in Mark 14.53-15.1 is far more elaborate than a Markan interpolation in my previous post with reference to the ABABA pattern with the Fig Tree/Temple Incident and the observation that having more than the minimum necessary to qualify as a Markan interpolation is not the same as lacking the minimum necessary to be a Markan interpolation. I have also dealt with Brown’s claim that John “has to do the same” by pointing out that Luke was able to tell the story in a different way and that intercalation is a highly unusual way to express simultaneity in ancient literature and intercalation is highly characteristic of Mark.But it is far more elaborate than a Marcan intercalation, and represents an ingenious way to do justice to the tradition that these two scenes happened at the same time. John has to do the same, but the very fact that his solution is different from Mark’s helps to show his independence. While he has a similar introduction in which Jesus is led to the high priest and Peter follows, John tells at the outset of the story of the first denial by Peter, only then bringing him into the aule [courtyard](18:15-18:18). Then John tells the story of the interrogation of Jesus and gets Jesus off the scene (18:19-24) before returning to tell of Peter’s second and third denials. I find little evidence here of Johannine dependence on Mark (Death, 1.428).
This leaves Brown’s claim that John’s different solution, narrating the first denial of Peter before he enters the courtyard, helps show his independence from Mark. Brown’s description of the data is surprisingly incomplete. In fact, John decides to intercalate the story of Jesus’ trial hearing right after “Peter warming himself,” just as Mark does (John 18.18, Mark 14.54), and both evangelists repeat those words in the resumed scene about Peter that comes after the interrupting scene about trial scene (John 18.25, Mark 14.66-67). Not only did not John not have to intercalate (because Luke manages to tell the story without doing so), he didn’t have to intercalate at that point or repeat those words, both in agreement with Mark. And we know this because Matthew, who is directly dependent on Mark, managed to narrate the two intercalated scenes without using the words “Peter warming himself” or making any reference to the fire. But for Brown, the fact that John has the first denial of Peter before the break between scenes outweighs these facts. This is odd because, as we have just scene, Luke and Matthew do not feel the need to follow Mark slavishly and we should not suppose John would either. They often don’t reproduce Mark’s intercalations, and where they do, they frequently modify Mark (as Matthew did with omitting the fire motif). In Luke’s version of the sandwiched stories of Jarius’ daughter and the Woman with the flow of blood, Luke has moved one element (the fact that Jairus’ daughter is twelve years old) from the second half of the story where Mark had it (Mark 5.42) to the first half (Luke 8.42). On this basis, I don’t think that what John would have to have done, moving the first denial of Peter from the second to the first half of the divided story, should be beyond the editorial power of the evangelist. Later evangelists making use of Markan intercalations move stuff around.
Raymond Brown was, in general, a very good scholar, and I learned a lot from reading him. But the arguments he made in this particular case are really weak. To his credit, Brown eschews resorting to textual emendation to get rid of the indicators that might suggest dependence on Mark (Death 2.426 n.39).
First, the question you pose is indeed a problem, but hardly the problem. Second, I don't think the criterion of embarrassment or 1 Thess. 2:14-16 (if it were authentic) can be applied to establish these points at the level of specificity your argument requires. The criterion of embarrassment would at best prove suggest that Mark did not invent Peter's betrayal of Jesus, it wouldn't establish that it happened at night, let alone simultaneously with Jesus' interrogation by the High Priest. Similarly, 1 Thess. 2:14-16 (if authentic) would not establish that Jesus was interrogated by the High Priest, let alone on a night near Passover, still less what Peter might have been doing at the time.Andrew: IMO Brown is right here. The problem is whether an interrogation by night by the high priest and a denial by night by Peter really were both part of the pre-Gospel tradition. On the criteria of embarrassment I would regard the denial by Peter as primitive, (at least not invented by Mark). It is less clear that the early tradition involved an interrogation of Jesus by the high priest. However if 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 is original then it probably implies that a hearing of Jesus before the high priest was part of the pre-Gospel tradition.
Moreover, far from being embarrassing to Mark, having Peter's denial occur simultaneously with Jesus's hearing before the High Priest emphasizes two major themes of Mark's gospel; how a Christian should behave under persecution and Jesus as a true prophet. First, as observed in the excerpt I gave upthread from John Dominic Crossan's Who Killed Jesus (1996) p. 102: "That is a very deliberate model for Markan Christians of how (like Jesus) and how not (like Peter) to act under accusation, trial, and persecution." When questioned, Jesus admits to being the Christ, but Peter denies being a Christian. John omits this element from Mark because his Jesus is not a human being who goes to the cross reluctantly, but a divine being who descended from heaven with the specific intention of going to the cross. (Actually, John has not omitted Jesus being asked if he is the Christ entirely but moved it to John 10.24, but John's transpositions of Passion Narrative material to earlier contexts is a subject for another post).
The second Markan theme is Jesus as prophet. In both Mark and John Jesus predicts Peter will deny him (Mark 14.30, John 13.38). In Mark, as Jesus is being blindfolded and beaten and told: "Prophesy!"(14.65), Peter is outside denying Jesus and then remembers Jesus had foretold that he would do so (Mark 14.72). Mark is pretty heavy-handed in his presentation, having Jesus' mockers actually use the word "Prophesy!" and having Peter recall Jesus' earlier prediction. John does not have either of these elements. Nonetheless, John cannot be unaware of the theme of prophetic fulfillment, not just because Peter denies Jesus three times, but because the cock crows after he does so (John 18.27). This is unmistakably a back reference to John 13.38, the only other place in John where the work "cock"(i.e., rooster) appears. In fact, the only places where the word "cock" appears in the New Testament is in the four gospels accounts of Jesus' prediction of Peter's denial and then in the denial itself.
Does this unequivocally prove that Mark must be the one that combined the denial and trial stories? No, not quite. It proves only that their simultaneity was amazingly congenial (as opposed too embarrassing) to him.