Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

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Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

Post by JoeWallack » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:45 am


Costello: Allrite, who came first?

Abbey: The Father?

Costello: Right. Who came second?

Abbey: The Son?

Costello: Wrong. The Son came first.

Abbey: So the Father & Son both came first?

Costello: Correct. Who came third?

Abbey: The Spirit?

Costello: Wrong. The Spirit came first.

Abbey: So the Father & Son & Spirit all came first?

Costello: That's correct. You've got the Spirit!

Abbey: I've got the Spirit and I don't even know what I'm saying.

The purpose of this Thread will be to explain why GMark is Separationist Theology. I continue to see Skeptics describe GMark as Adoptionist Theology and I have faith that this is because CBS (Christian Bible Scholarship) has long been in denial regarding the Separationist Theology of the likely original Gospel narrative. This is an important issue because Separationism is a more extreme literary style than Adoptionism and therefore better general evidence of fiction. A major part of this problem is the lack of definition of Separationist Theology. By an Act of Provenance Ehrman provides a definition here:
Separationism understood him to be two distinct beings, one human (the man Jesus) and the other divine (the divine Christ)
Ehrman defines Adoptionism as follows:
Adoptionism understood him to be a fully human being and not actually divine
In what follows we will see that GMark is explicitly Separationist.


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Re: Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:57 pm

I have used these terms loosely and less than accurately in the past. It will be good to have the correct terminology reinforced.

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Re: Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

Post by Giuseppe » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:45 pm

Surely, using the Ehrman/Wallack terminology, separationism becomes incarnationism after the Empty Tomb in Mark: the man and the spirit become one and the same being. This union may be seen as a form of adoptionism: the spirit adopts the man by becoming forever one with him.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

Post by Aleph One » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:17 am

I think this is good info too. I realize I was sometimes assuming or meaning separationist when saying adoptionist (by this definition) in my thread about GMark and the empty tomb. My question should have been, "Why would a seperationalist Mark need Christ to reclaim Jesus's body from the tomb?"

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Re: Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

Post by Giuseppe » Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:58 am

Aleph One wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:17 am
. My question should have been, "Why would a seperationalist Mark need Christ to reclaim Jesus's body from the tomb?"
this is an interesting argument. Separationism in Mark is the only reason of interest I have still for Mark. Why was a mere man (abandoned by the divine Christ on the cross) later made risen by the same Christ who abandoned him? I hope that JW gives a good answer.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

Post by iskander » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:00 am

In the Kingdom of Castille and Aragon
Tanto monta, monta tanto, Isabel como Fernando
("They amount to the same,)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanto_mon ... o_Fernando

"Tãto mõta" ("tanto monta") as inscribed on the Moorish Alhambra Palace in Granada.

In the Kingdom of God
Tanto monta, monta tanto, Father como Son
They amount to the same

Who comes First? . Tanto monta, monta tanto

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Re: Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

Post by davidoliversmith » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:18 pm

I disagree with Joe Wallack that Mark is separationist. I think it is adoptionist. However, a separationist interpretation is not illogical under a reading of canonical Mark. Unfortunately, the original Gospel of Mark has been heavily redacted to obscure the clear adoptionist christology of the author. In my book "Unlocking the Puzzle" I used literary tools such as chiastic structures, Markan triplets and analysis of literary style to discover interpolations into Original Mark and to discover that some pericopae had been relocated. Those redactions changed the message of the original gospel as written by the author. The original gospel as I have reconstructed it is a much better work of literature, makes more sense, and has a clear structure, unlike canonical Mark. In my book I identify this as "The Original Gospel of Mark."

In the Original Gospel of Mark Jesus is an ordinary man infused with the Spirit at baptism which leaves him at the moment of death after he has suffered. At the outset Jesus is confused about his mission. He apparently believes God has made him the Messiah, wants him to over throw the Roman Empire, and rule the Kingdom of God. However, at the transfiguration which in the Original Gospel came immediately after the death of John the Baptist and return of the 12 at Mark 6:31, Moses and Elijah apparently tell Jesus he has it wrong and that he is to be crucified. They tell him after his death he will be resurrected as the Messiah and come back to rule the Kingdom of God. Jesus then has a moral dilemma with regard to whether to follow God's plan or use the infused spirit to start a revolution and over throw the Roman Empire. He finally decides at Gethsemane to submit to God's will, with his cry "Abba, Father" which is from Gal 4:6 and Rom 8:15 when Paul talks about Christians being adopted by God.

The main clues to this interpretation of the Original Gospel of Mark are in Jesus's use of the term "Son of Man" to refer to himself. Early in the gospel (Mark 2:10 & 2:28) Jesus says that he as Son of Man has the "authority to forgive sins" and is "lord of the sabbath." After he talks with Moses and Elijah on the transfiguration mountain, whenever he mentions the Son of Man it is that he will be delivered up, suffer, be killed, rise after 3 days, and come again in glory. He never again claims "authority" or "lordship." A fundamental change in Jesus occurs at the transfiguration.

Therefore, since Jesus was confused about his mission until Moses and Elijah put him straight, and he didn't completely decide to go through with it until right before his arrest, he could not have had a divine nature. He was an ordinary man that was infused with the spirit that allowed him to predict the future, read men's minds, heal miraculously, and multiply food, but he wasn't yet the Christ until after he had been resurrected. That's why Jesus rebukes Peter and calls him Satan at Mark 8:33 because Peter has apparently tempted him to use his spiritual powers to start a revolution. That's why James, Peter and John are confused by the words "rise from the dead" at the transfiguration. They thought Jesus was the "one like the son of man" of Daniel 7:13 who would never die. Jesus is telling them he just learned from Moses and Elijah that he is the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. That's why James and John embarrass themselves at Mark 10:35-41 by asking Jesus if they can sit on his right and left hand. They assume this will be Earthly glory when Jesus rules the Kingdom of God after the revolution.

The Original Gospel of Mark is clearly adoptionistic, but the later redaction into canonical Mark purposefully confused the adoptionistic message and a reasonable reader might come to the conclusion that Mark was separationist. But that is not what the author intended.

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Re: Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

Post by toejam » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:50 pm

I've come to the conclusion recently that Mark's Christology is not consistent with itself. I put this down to layers of editing.
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Crossing The Separationist Bridge

Post by JoeWallack » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:40 am

Where & What

We've already seen here that GMark's theology is explicitly Separationist and since there is no explicit evidence in GMark for any other theology, Separationist will remain the most likely no matter what the implications of theology in GMark are. By an Act of Provenance though (so to speak) the implications in GMark also clearly support Separationist:

Verse Question Verse Answer Commentary
2 And when the sabbath was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, Whence hath this man these things?
10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens rent asunder,
1. Note the rhetorical device, a common question attributed to a group.
2. Those that knew Jesus well before he received The Spirit wonder where Jesus got his new ability. The Reader has already received the explicit answer, Heaven.
3. The rhetorical devices of common attribution of statements and clear matching of the key question words to answers which are lessened (so to speak) by all subsequent Gospellers are more evidence of Markan priority (and originality).
and, What is the wisdom that is given unto this man, and [what mean] such mighty works wrought by his hands?
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended in him.
and the Spirit as a dove descending upon him: 1. A famous mistranslation. "Upon" should be "into".
2. Jesus' supposed audience wonders what is the source of his new ability. The Reader has already received the explicit answer, The Spirit.
3. Note how well the where & what coordinate = God's Spirit from Heaven.
4. The reaction of Jesus' supposed audience to Jesus after he receives The Spirit indicates that they considered him a different person (so to speak) before he received The Spirit.

There are many mysteries in GMark but the Separationist Theology is not one of them.

Bonus material for Solo = What is the name of the rhetorical device "Mark" uses to attribute common verses to a group of people?


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Re: Who'sonfirst? GMark As Separationist

Post by rgprice » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:28 am

I don't think GMark was either Separationist or Adoptionist. I think the writer of Mark knew that Jesus wasn't real and was just writing a fictional story. There was no intention of establishing doctrine.

Later readers and copiers from GMark used elements of GMark's narrative to establish doctrines, but that wan't the intent of the author.

It's like asking what Tolkien's views were on the nature of Sauron.

I think the writer of GMark viewed the Jesus cult as a failure, evidenced by the outcome of the First Jewish-Roman War. The story basically mocks the Jesus movement and blames them for the war, along with other elements of Jewish society. That this story became the basis of a new religion worshiping Jesus is a supreme irony.

The scene cited by Joe above as evidence of Separationism is a literary allusion to Isaiah 11. This wasn't written because the author of Mark "was a Separationist", it was written to reference Isaiah to identify Jesus as a servant of God. This was later interpreted as "evidence of Separationism", but that's a later misunderstanding, not the original intent.

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