The Skeptical Critical Commentary - Gospel of Mark

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1:1-3 X-Curses - Jewish Bible Prophecy in GMark

Post by JoeWallack » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:24 pm


Verse Explicit Source? Positive? About Jesus? Original? Commentary
2 Even as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight;
Yes Yes Yes No Note that for the verses in question the prophecy is relatively straight-forward. Source and words are explicit and it's positive and about Jesus. It's representative of subsequent Christianity.
6 And he said unto them, Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, But their heart is far from me.
7 But in vain do they worship me, Teaching [as their] doctrines the precepts of men.
Yes No No Yes Negative prophecy against The Pharisees. Prophecies in The Teaching & Healing Ministry are few and far between.
13 But I say unto you, that Elijah is come, and they have also done unto him whatsoever they would, even as it is written of him.
No No No Yes Negative prophecy against The Herodians.
17 And he taught, and said unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations? but ye have made it a den of robbers.
No No No Yes Negative prophecy against The Sadducees and Scribes.
10 Have ye not read even this scripture: The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner;
11 This was from the Lord, And it is marvellous in our eyes?
No No Yes Yes About as ironic as you get.
27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered abroad.
No No No Yes Negative prophecy against the Disciples.
49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but [this is done] that the scriptures might be fulfilled.
No No Yes Yes Ironic and negative.
28 [And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was reckoned with transgressors.]
No No Yes No Not original.

Generally the prophecies in the Teaching & Healing Ministry are few and far between while the prophecies in the Passion Ministry start
coming in faster than Trump's tweets. Our favorite author has also carefully allocated one such negative prophecy to each of his main fool groups:
  • Pharisees




The following observations from the above support 1:1-3 as addition:
  • 1) Explicit prophecy from The Jewish Bible positively about Jesus during the Teaching & Healing Ministry is rarer than Gordon Gecko's interest in Annacott Steal.

    2) Most Markan prophecy claims are negative towards "Mark's" Jesus' supposed opposition.

    3) 1:1-3 looks anachronistic.


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1:1-3 - The GMark Claimed Source for John the Baptist being Prophesied Messenger/Elijah

Post by JoeWallack » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:07 pm

1:1-3 Going MedGoodacre on the Internal Evidence:

Verse Literary Style of Source Nature of Claimed Source Messenger? Elijah? Commentary
2 Even as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight;
Editorial Prophesied in The Jewish Bible Yes No Note that everything here goes against GMark in general =
GMark is generally narrative but this is editorial.
GMark has few claims of Jewish Bible prophecy.
GMark is otherwise unclear about John the Baptist being the messenger for Jesus.
GMark is otherwise unclear about John the Baptist being Elijah.
14 And king Herod heard [thereof]; for his name had become known: and he said, John the Baptizer is risen from the dead, and therefore do these powers work in him.
Narrative N/A No No Herod thinks Jesus is John the Baptist.
The lost irony here is that even Herod believes in resurrections (while Jesus' own disciples don't).
27 And Jesus went forth, and his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi: and on the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Who do men say that I am?
28 And they told him, saying, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but others, One of the prophets.
Narrative N/A No Yes Others think that Jesus is John the Baptist and some think he is Elijah. Apparently no one thinks Jesus is the latter part of 1:2-3.
11 And they asked him, saying, [How is it] that the scribes say that Elijah must first come?
12 And he said unto them, Elijah indeed cometh first, and restoreth all things: and how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be set at nought?
13 But I say unto you, that Elijah is come, and they have also done unto him whatsoever they would, even as it is written of him.
Narrative Prophesied in The Jewish Bible Yes Yes Here is GMark's conclusion regarding John the Baptist as Messenger/Elijah and every component goes against 1:2-3 =
  • There is nothing in 1:2-3 about the Messenger suffering.
    There is nothing in 1:2-3 saying the Messenger would be Elijah.
    1:2-3 is primarily relational and not primarily sequential.
    1:2-3 is detailed in form not in summary.

Conclusion = Other than 1:2-3 all of GMark is ambiguous, unclear and misunderstood regarding the relationship of John the Baptist and Jesus. 1:2-3 is clear, in detail regarding the relationship. GMark's style is that relationships become clear to the reader via narrative. Editorial comment at the start obviously is for the reader so you could argue that in general relationships are made known to the reader in GMark (and not the/most/some characters). But 1:2-3 goes against how relationships are made known to the reader and also goes against Jesus' own concluding explanation of the relationship which is for the characters and especially the reader. If 1:2-3 doesn't fit (the rest of GMark) you have to acquit. As Raddimus explains You can't just say "Jesus fulfilled this prophecy!". You have to be sneaky. Again, 1:2-3 looks like it was written by subsequent Christianity which wanted to reduce the ambiguity of GMark's relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus (and this is just what we see in the subsequent Gospels).


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HellBar's Fate

Post by JoeWallack » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:40 pm

MrMacSon wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:32 pm
1:1, 'The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God,' is the incipit, reflecting Gen 1:1 and Rom 1:1.

Mk 1:2-4 is a Prologue -

A 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, [Isa 40:3]

. BA “Look, I send my messenger ahead of you, [Malachi 3:1; adopting Mal 3:22–24, Mal 4:5, & Exodus 23:20]

. BB who will prepare your way.” [Isa 40:3]

. BA’ 1:3 A voice proclaiming in the wilderness, [Isa 43:19]

. BB’ “Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his way straight.” [Isa 40:3; Psalms 5:8 and 107:7; Prov. 3:6]

A 1:4 Appeared John the Baptizer in the wilderness proclaiming the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. [Isa 43:19]

based on Smith, David Oliver (2016) Unlocking the Puzzle: The Keys to the Christology and Structure of the Original Gospel of Mark (p. ~203). Resource Publications, an Imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers.
"Son of God" is likely not original to 1:1. See Son Control-Mark's 2nd Amendment. Is 1:1 "son of God" added?. I use this as a litmus test to decide if someone has Apologetic tendencies.

It's generally agreed that the supposed title, "According to Mark" is not original. As this unholy thread has already demonstrated the beginning and ending of Gospels are more likely to be edited than what's in between. That is because they have disproportionately greater effect. Specifically, the ending of GMark is likely not original. As we peel off unoriginal layers the next layer is then more likely to be unoriginal than what's underneath because what's underneath may have been thought to be original at one time.

Again, as this Thread has already demonstrated, 1:1-3 sounds more like what subsequent Christianity would write than what "Mark" (author) would write as it is relatively straight forward.
  • 1:2-4 does not look like a Prologue with a Markan chiasm because:

    1) 1:2-3 show the style of Jewish Bible parallelism which "Mark" does not use anywhere else.

    2) I don't see the typical Markan chiasm. Usually it starts with entry and ends with exit and the middle/center has the point/lesson.

    3) 1:9 looks like what follows the prologue ("in those days").

    4) 1:4-8 looks like the Prologue which forms a parallel chiasm to 1:9-12. Now we have close to our combined typical Markan chiasm. John comes to the wilderness and Jesus will leave the wilderness.
1:8 is the most interesting line as it looks like "fire" is original and fire is always bad in GMark. Jesus' fate is GMark is primarily to destroy the Judaism of his time and not to start Christianity. In a following post we will compare the Prologue of GMark to what I have faith was the most important Prologue to "Mark", the Prologue of Oedipus.


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Post by JoeWallack » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:47 am

What a nightmare!

With 1:1-3 exorcised as unlikely to be original, 1:4-8 looks like the likely original Prologue:

Verse Commentary
4 John came, who baptized in the wilderness and preached the baptism of repentance unto remission of sins.
The present, John's baptism.
  • 5 And there went out unto him all the country of Judaea, and all they of Jerusalem; And they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Before John.
    • 6 And John was clothed with camel`s hair, and [had] a leathern girdle about his loins, and did eat locusts and wild honey.
John the Baptist.
  • 7 And he preached, saying, There cometh after me he that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
After John.
8 I baptized you in water; But he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
The future, Jesus' baptism.
Small but quality textual support for "fire" connected to "Holy Spirit". "Fire" is always bad/destructive in GMark. If "fire" is original here than it may be an ironic prediction that Jesus' "baptism" will destroy Judaism in total or at least in part. If so, is this the primary prediction of the verse? See below.

1:8 looks like the end of the Prologue as 1:9 starts with "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came" thus beginning a continuous Jesus' narrative until the Epilogue.

As far as comparing to other famous Prologues the prologue of Oedipus probably would have been the most famous Greek Tragedy prologue at the time GMark was written and one of the most famous prologues in general:

Oedipus Rex

Note the groundwork for extreme irony laid out in the Prologue. The history of the city is that Oedipus saved the city. Now the city is suffering and looks to Oedipus to save it again. Parallels to the Jewish history, God saved the Jews from Egypt (Oedipus saved the Thebans from the Sphinx, which also became GMark's image)) and now the Jews look to be saved again. In a few strophes Tiresias, the blind prophet appears, who prophesies that it ironically is Oedipus himself who is the cause of Theban suffering (because he murdered the King who he did not recognize as King (and also did not recognize his father - I could go on and on but I think Peter has a word limit here)). At the end Oedipus does indeed save Thebes by removing himself from Thebes and substituting his suffering for Thebes' suffering. Of course The Jewish Bible in GMark takes the place of Tiresias by being misused to claim the same type of ironic prophecies.

For a student of 1st century Israel the most significant event would have been the lost Roman War. If "fire" is original to 1:8 it's easy to make a parallel between GMark and real Jewish history. Jesus came to save the Jews and at first they looked to him for salvation but because they rejected him he instead became the object of their destruction as ironically prophesied in 1:8. Jesus tried to save, but failed, because just like Oedipus, that was his fate (God's will). Just as Josephus saw Vespasian as Messiah and Jewish destruction caused by rejection of Vespasian.

You also have the parallel theme between Oedipus and GMark of the hero taking on suffering to save. But in GMark, which is primary:
  • 1) The destruction of Judaism because of rejection of Jesus.


    2) The salvation of Judaism because of acceptance of Jesus.
We will see that GMark as a whole supports 1) and belief that 2) is primary seems anachronistic. This (theme) also supports "fire" in 1:8.


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