Book Review of Mark 1:1-8:26 by James Voelz

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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JoeWallack
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Greco-Roman Biography Challenged

Post by JoeWallack » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:59 am

Crazy

JW:
Book Review of Mark 1:1-8:26 by James Voelz:

[25]

Voelz correctly identifies Jesus as being an "odd" character:
  • 1:43 Gets mad at a man he has just healed.

    1:45 He goes to parts unknown to escape the crowds even though he said that was his purpose.

    6:48 Jesus wanted to pass his disciples on the water.

    11:12 Curses a barren fig tree even though figs were not in season.

    3:21 Jesus is thought to be spirit possessed/crazy.
Since Voelz has correctly identified "Mark's" Jesus as unorthodox this is evidence that he has
also correctly identified "Mark's grammar as unorthodox.


Joseph

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Paul the Uncertain
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Re: Book Review of Mark 1:1-8:26 by James Voelz

Post by Paul the Uncertain » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:44 am

Hi, Joe

Could you elaborate a bit? Voelz is well regarded as a translator and dramatic adaptor of Mark. It's not clear how his recognizing nuances in Mark's characterization of Jesus improves his reputation as a grammarian.

Also, there's a curiosity in your list. The two items in the 1:40's are causally related. Jesus is mad at the leper because the man will not follow Jesus' emphatic instructions to refrain from publicizing his healing beyond offering the mandatory sacrifice. However, the man shows no restraint at all, immediately spreading the word, and as a direct result, Jesus loses control of the crowds' size soon thereafter. He's still serving lots of people out in the desert, so he isn't "avoiding" them, but rather he is meeting them in a venue that accommodates them. The sequence climaxes in Jesus' return to Capernaum, where we see a worked example of why it is impractical for the now famous Jesus to teach in a town setting: people dismantle the roof of the overcrowded house where Jesus is teaching in order to squeeze one more guy in. (We never find out who pays for the repairs, or whether Jesus is ever invited back.)

The only non-transparency in the sequence is the temporal reversal of cause and effect at the outset. That is, Jesus reacts to the man's behavior before the disobedience and having to endure its consequences. However, it is established within the same sequence that Jesus is a mind-reader, just a few verses after the healing. It will also be a plot-point in the passion that Jesus can do near-term forecasting, even if he never seems to get the hang of discerning who touches him.

Given that Voelz is a dramatist (indeed an adaptor and performer of this very work for the stage), it's suprising to me that he wouldn't recognize the device, sometimes called these days a "forward." The teller elicits a question in the audience's mind which is later answered in the recitation; obviously a staple of storytelling that was probably familiar to cave dwellers.

I am wondering, then, if you could quote Voelz' position or paraphrase it more fully.

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Dom and Dominar

Post by JoeWallack » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:45 pm

JW:
Book Review of Mark 1:1-8:26 by James Voelz:

[42]

Voelz correctly identifies the Markan theme of negatively portraying the supposed disciples:
Mark's depiction of the disciples, especially the Twelve, is disturbing.
...
in general, they are portrayed in extremely negative terms.
...
Because of this portrayal, it is impossible to see the disciples in general, and the Twelve in particular, as models of discipleship in Mark.
For a further demonstration see:

"The Simontic Problem". "Mark's" Negative Casting of Peter


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JoeWallack
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Missing The Mark

Post by JoeWallack » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:17 am

JW:
Book Review of Mark 1:1-8:26 by James Voelz:

[43]

Voelz also correctly identifies the Markan theme of the purpose of the minor characters is to provide a positive contrast to the negative portrayal of the supposed disciples:
Minor Characters

...
they are portrayed positively and so provide a foil for the closest followers of the Lord.
...
These minor characters evidence a proper understanding of, and attitude toward, the Lord. Consequently, they are much better models of discipleship than are the more formal disciples of Jesus.
This leads to two reasonable possibilities regarding "Mark's" big picture:
  • 1) A primary purpose was to discredit the assumed historical disciples.

    2) With its extreme irony and satire, the primary purpose was an artistic literary work and not a religious one.
What is not reasonable is that "Mark" was intended to be primarily a religious work documenting the original disciples' struggles with discipleship but their ultimate success as proper disciples. Such an understanding is anachronistic (based on subsequent Christianity). Voelz, with high Believership, apologizes by assuming that GMark was written last and that is why it is the most sophisticated. As he is significantly wrong here that does call into question his possible bias regarding his grammatical observations.



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Do Not Go Gentile Into The Night

Post by JoeWallack » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:41 am

I'm All Alone

JW:
Book Review of Mark 1:1-8:26 by James Voelz:

[43]
Enemies

...Mark portrays Jesus' enemies negatively.
...
the leadership of the Jews
...
the demonic spiritual forces
...
his family
...
one might also suggest that Jesus' disciples become his enemies...
JW:
I think Voelz misses an even higher level of sophisticated contrivance here. A better general description here
would be "opposition" rather than enemies. The author has gone to the Max here as every category of
character is in some way opposition to Jesus' Passion Mission:
  • 1) Leadership of the Jews = The best example of an opposition group here that allows Jesus' Passion Mission
    to be successful by opposing it (irony).

    2) Demonic spiritual forces = They try to ruin the Passion Mission by making it known that Jesus is the son of
    god.

    3) His family = The best witnesses of Jesus' character testify that the Pharisees are correct, Jesus' source
    is Satan.

    4) Jewish commoners = After receiving sufficient evidence and than some that Jesus is the good guy they
    turn on him like a Trump lawyer.

    5) Romans = Without any evidence against they convict and crucify Jesus. But they were just following
    religious orders.

    6) God = Jesus' human spirit opposes God's will. On his throne cross Jesus is all alone. The spirit caught
    the last train to the ghost.
Trump/Godfree counterpoint = What about the Gentiles?



Joseph

Why Did CNN Terminate Its Contract With Marc Lamont Hill?

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