The Skeptical Critical Commentary - Gospel of Mark

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Re: The Skeptical Critical Commentary - Gospel of Mark

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin » Tue May 28, 2019 9:23 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:58 am
I think Paul speaks quite a lot about what "has been written" in scripture. If that is correct, then Mark is not completely alone in early Christianity.
Agreed und Paul clearly attached authority to the scriptures. But my point is here a specific way of quotation of the prophet Isaiah (or the prophets) and the word choice to introduce it. In this regard Paul agreed with Matthew and John, although he used the verb "says" or "is so bold to say" in present. There are 5 occurrences of Isaiah in Paul's letters, all in Romans.

Romans 9:27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,
Romans 9:29 And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.”
Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
Romans 10:20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
Romans 15:12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”

It should be a good case that Mark is unique in this regard.

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Re: The Skeptical Critical Commentary - Gospel of Mark

Post by Ben C. Smith » Tue May 28, 2019 10:37 am

Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 9:23 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:58 am
I think Paul speaks quite a lot about what "has been written" in scripture. If that is correct, then Mark is not completely alone in early Christianity.
Agreed und Paul clearly attached authority to the scriptures. But my point is here a specific way of quotation of the prophet Isaiah (or the prophets) and the word choice to introduce it. In this regard Paul agreed with Matthew and John, although he used the verb "says" or "is so bold to say" in present. There are 5 occurrences of Isaiah in Paul's letters, all in Romans.

Romans 9:27 And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved,
Romans 9:29 And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.”
Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”
Romans 10:20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
Romans 15:12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.”

It should be a good case that Mark is unique in this regard.
Okay, good point(s).

How does Mark compare with slightly later generations of Christians?
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:58 am
The only other time GMark mentioned Isaiah is Mark 7:6 and Mark stressed there again the authority of scripture (in contrast to Matthew 15:7).
Mark 1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way,
Mark 7:6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’


Barnabas 6.14: 14 ...even as he says again in another prophet [καθὼς πάλιν ἐν ἑτέρῳ προφήτῃ λέγει]....

Barnabas 9.1: 1 .... The Lord says in the prophet [λέγει κύριος ἐν τῷ προφήτῃ]....

Barnabas 11.6: 6 And again in another prophet he says [καὶ πάλιν ἐν ἀλλῳ προφήτῃ λέγει]....

Barnabas 12.1: 1 In like manner again he signifies concerning the cross in another prophet [ὁμοίως πάλιν περὶ τοῦ σταυροῦ ὁρίζει ἐν ἄλλῳ προφήτῃ λέγοντι]....

Barnabas 12.4: 4 And again in another prophet he says [καὶ πάλιν ἐν ἑτέρῳ προφήτῃ λέγει]....

Shepherd of Hermas, Vision 2.3.4: ...as it is written in Eldad and Modat, who prophesied to the people in the wilderness [ὡς γέγραπται ἐν τῷ Ἐλδὰδ καὶ Μωδάτ, τοῖς προφητεύσασιν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ τῷ λαῷ].

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 11.3: 3 Or have you not read these things which Isaiah says [ἢ σὺ ταῦτα οὐκ ἀνέγνως ἅ φησιν Ἠσαίας]...?

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 44.2: 2 ....and that this is so God makes known in Ezekiel when He said concerning it [καὶ ὅτι τοῦτό ἐστιν ἐν τῷ Ἰεζεκιὴλ περὶ τούτου ἀποφαινόμενος ὁ θεὸς εἶπεν]....

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 44.3: 3 And in Isaiah in the very same matter He spoke thus [καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἠσαίᾳ εἰς τοῦτο αὐτὸ ἔφη οὕτως]....

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 46.6: 6 ...and in Isaiah He rebukes you for having sacrificed your children to idols [καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἠσαίᾳ καὶ τὰ τέκνα ὑμῶν θυσίαν πεποιηκέναι τοῖς εἰδώλοις ἐλέγχει ὑμᾶς].

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 78.1: 1 ...it has been thus written in the prophet [γέγραπται ἐν τῷ προφήτῃ οὕτως]....

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 79.4: 4 .... And again it is written in Job [καὶ πάλιν ἐν τῷ Ἰὼβ γέγραπται]....

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 91.1: 1 ...and in Isaiah he tells us that he shall be put to death as an enemy by the mighty sword, which is Christ [καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἠσαίᾳ ἀναιρεθήσεσθαι ὡς πολέμιον διὰ τῆς μεγάλης μαχαίρας, ἥτις ἐστὶν ὁ Χριστός, σημαίνει].

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 123.8: 8 ...in Isaiah, if you have ears to hear it, God, speaking of Christ in parable, calls Him Jacob and Israel [ἐν τῷ Ἠσαίᾳ, ὠσὶν ἀκούοντες εἰ ἄρα ἀκούετε, περὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ λέγων ὁ θεὸς ἐν παραβολῇ Ἰακὼβ αὐτὸν καλεῖ καὶ Ἰσραήλ].

Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho 138.1: 1 ...in Isaiah it has been said to Jerusalem by God [ἐν τῷ Ἠσαίᾳ λέλεκται ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πρὸς τὴν Ἰερουσαλήμ]....

A quick scan reveals that Barnabas both (A) refers to the scriptures several times as what "is written" and (B) typically (though not always) writes of the prophets in the present tense (for example, "concerning which it is written, as Enoch says..."). The Shepherd has precious little of this kind of material to begin with. And Justin Martyr has many different ways of referencing the prophets, of which "in the prophet" is only one and "it is written" another; he also frequently writes of the scriptures, and specifically of reading the scriptures.

ETA: 1 Clement has a number of instances of "it is written" and frequently quotes scripture with a present tense "he says," but rarely mentions prophets, whether individually or collectively. 2 Clement 3.5 begins, "For He says in Isaiah" (λέγει δὲ καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἡσαΐα), and 2 Clement 6.8 begins, "For thus also the scripture says in Ezekiel" (λέγει δὲ καὶ ἡ γραφὴ ἐν τῷ Ἰεζεκιήλ).
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Tue May 28, 2019 7:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Welcome Back Keutzer

Post by JoeWallack » Fri May 31, 2019 4:46 pm

Yeah we tease "Mark" alot cuz we gottit on the spot, welcome back.
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 6:58 am

Mark 2:25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him:
Mark 9:12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt?
Mark 9:13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”
Mark 11:17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”
Mark 12:10 Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
Mark 12:24 Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?
Mark 12:26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?
Mark 13:14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand),
Mark 14:21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
Mark 14:27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
Mark 14:49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.”

JW:
I think I can safely just make one general comment here. Note that for the verses above that are prophecy they are all generally negative/ironic. As I've already pointed out in this Thread "Mark's" use of prophecy is generally to criticize/condemn others and he has even used it jewdiciously to cover each fool group once. The supposed prophecy of 1:2-3 is the opposite in theme. A straight forward, positive, not-ironic prophecy.

Subsequent editors want to minimize edits for maximum effect. The best example of this is the end of GMark where "Matthew" changes "did not tell" to "did tell". In order to minimize edit with maximum effect the best locations are the beginning or end. GMark follows the Pauline theme that his Jesus' Mission was unexpected/ironic. Supported by supposed prophecy/prooftexting (lying). We all agree that GMark was edited at the end. We also all agree that subsequent Christianity moved away from GMark's unexpected/irony. A good spot for an edit would be the beginning of GMark to claim that everything proceeded from a clear, straight-forward, positive prophecy from The Jewish Bible. The beginning of GMark is extremely ironic, even by Markan standards, as John prophecies that The One will come after him, but fails to recognize that Jesus was the one even after baptizing him.

Theme has the attributes of quantity and reasons and therefore has lots of scope. That's why I value it here above your phrase usage observation.

Bonus material for Solo = Note that in GMark John has no reaction to Jesus at baptism. How does "John" (author) react to this?


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Post by JoeWallack » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:12 pm

JW:
Obviously it's possible that 1:1-3 is original. Even though it seems misplaced based on observations in this unholy Thread there is an interesting
reason why it may be original and at odds with the rest of GMark. In general GMark has a ironic, contrasting and reversing style. See:

Mark.How Much Ironic Contrast,Transfer&Reversal Did He kraM?

The positive straight-forwardness of The Prologue, 1-8, is in contrast to the negative, indirect, ironic reversal of the rest of the Gospel:

Verse Positive/Negative Commentary
1
1. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Positive -
2. Even as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way.
Positive Direct reference to a Jewish Bible prophecy about its succession.
3. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight;
Positive A prophecy to cooperate
4. John came, who baptized in the wilderness and preached the baptism of repentance unto remission of sins.
Positive Prophecy fulfilled and instruction to repent
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.
Positive Instruction is followed. By everyone.
6. And John was clothed with camel`s hair, and [had] a leathern girdle about his loins, and did eat locusts and wild honey.
Positive Making clear that John represents Elijah, a very positive figure from the Jewish Bible.
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.
Positive Another prophecy that someone even better than John, who was able to have everyone repent, is coming after him.
8. I baptized you in water; But he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
? The sense seems to be a prophecy that a future baptism will be even better than the water one but "and fire" is likely at the end and that doesn't sound good.
9. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in the Jordan.
Positive Another prophecy fulfilled.
10. And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in the Jordan.
Neutral Looks like a transition.
11. And a voice came out of the heavens, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.
Mixed God's son comes to Israel but it also starts the extreme irony as John, who fulfilled The Prophecy, and successfully made everyone repent, does not recognize the fulfillment of his prophecy as he is apparently unaware that even though he just baptized him and Jesus received God's spirit literally under his long nose, that Jesus is the one fulfilling his prophecy.
12. And straightway the Spirit driveth him forth into the wilderness.
Negative Jesus is being forced (against his will) away.
13 And he was in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan; And he was with the wild beasts; And the angels ministered unto him.
Negative Satan not only appears but opposes Jesus
14 Now after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,
Negative As reward for his efforts John is delivered up and, as John is presented as foreshadowing Jesus, that does not bode well for the Ladder.

So in the big picture, the prologue including 1-3 is generally positive and straight-forward (so to speak). The inclusion of God into the narrative at 11 starts the irony and the verses turn negative and this irony/negative will continue to the end of the Gospel. "Mark's" (author) extreme style has been duly noted Ad Nazorean in this Forum. It's possible that the overall original style was to have a relatively simple, positive and straight-forward beginning and then reverse/contrast it with the rest of the Gospel. This would favor 1:1-3 as original but the many language issues pointed out already with 1:1-3 argue (successfully I think) that they are not.

An unorthodox literary technique is to have the ending at odds with the rest of the story. The reason being that the story teaches a lesson the Hard Way and the lesson is not learned until the end. Is GMark's inversion with the beginning at odds with the rest of the story intentionally the opposite?

Bonus material for Solo = 1:11 with God's introduction starts the irony (mystery) and as soon as God is introduced Satan appears to oppose. What prominent Christian writer before "Mark" had these same two primary themes?


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Re: The Skeptical Critical Commentary - Gospel of Mark

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:49 pm

JoeWallack wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:08 am
JW:
Starting with Textual Criticism:

NRSV
1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,' "
I once created two different lists on this forum: the first of characters in Mark introduced with some kind of descriptor or previous relationship, and the second of characters in Mark introduced without such. Famous Jewish heroes from the scriptures (Moses, David, Elijah) made the second list, but Isaiah ("the prophet") made the first list for some reason. This makes little sense to me. It is only a small indicator, but whatever worth it may have, I think, must accrue to the position that Mark 1.2 does not come from the pen of the author who assumed his readership would know who Moses, David, and Elijah are.
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Double Agency

Post by JoeWallack » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:12 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:49 pm
JoeWallack wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:08 am
JW:
Starting with Textual Criticism:

NRSV
1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,' "
I once created two different lists on this forum: the first of characters in Mark introduced with some kind of descriptor or previous relationship, and the second of characters in Mark introduced without such. Famous Jewish heroes from the scriptures (Moses, David, Elijah) made the second list, but Isaiah ("the prophet") made the first list for some reason. This makes little sense to me. It is only a small indicator, but whatever worth it may have, I think, must accrue to the position that Mark 1.2 does not come from the pen of the author who assumed his readership would know who Moses, David, and Elijah are.
JW:
Agreed. Good point (mainly because it agrees with me). On the other hand, it is a prophecy so "prophet" as a title would be consistent.

In the big picture though, I've argued that GMark in general is Ironic, Contrast, Transfer & Reversal so I have to concede it possible that the extreme differences in style between 1:1-3 and the rest of GMark may have been intentional.


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1:5 "River" Textual Criticism

Post by JoeWallack » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:11 pm

1:5

Strong's Greek English Morphology
2532 [e] καὶ kai And Conj
1607 [e] ἐξεπορεύετο exeporeueto were going out V-IIM/P-3S
4314 [e] πρὸς pros to Prep
846 [e] αὐτὸν auton him PPro-AM3S
3956 [e] πᾶσα pasa all Adj-NFS
3588 [e] ἡ hē the Art-NFS
2449 [e] Ἰουδαία Ioudaia of Judea N-NFS
5561 [e] χώρα chōra region, N-NFS
2532 [e] καὶ kai and Conj
3588 [e] οἱhoi - Art-NMP
2415 [e] Ἱεροσολυμῖται Hierosolymitai of Jerusalem, N-NMP
3956 [e] πάντες, pantes all Adj-NMP
2532 [e] καὶ kai and Conj
907 [e] ἐβαπτίζοντο ebaptizonto were being baptized V-IIM/P-3P
5259 [e] ὑπ’ hyp’ by Prep
846 [e] αὐτοῦ autou him PPro-GM3S
1722 [e] ἐν en in Prep
3588 [e] τῷ tō the Art-DMS
2446 [e] Ἰορδάνῃ Iordanē Jordan N-DMS
4215 [e] ποταμῷ potamō river, N-DMS
1843 [e] ἐξομολογούμενοι exomologoumenoi confessing V-PPM-NMP
3588 [e] τὰς tas the Art-AFP
266 [e] ἁμαρτίας hamartias sins N-AFP
846 [e] αὐτῶν. autōn of them. PPro-GM3P

LaParola
ποταμῷ [river]] Byz ς WH
omit] D W Θ 28 565 799 ita Eusebius
= Bezae, Washingtonianus, Koridethi, Old Italian.

The more important Internal Evidence = Without "river" is The Difficult Reading ("In the Jordan") based on The Difficult Reading Principle. Not so much based on Inscription (what the author likely wrote) but more so based on Transcription (Copyist preference).


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1:5 "River" Likely Not Original

Post by JoeWallack » Sun Jul 14, 2019 6:33 pm

JW:
The combination of a minimum of quality External Manuscript support and The Difficult Reading Principle already makes omission of "river" likely original but further evidence:

Matthew 3
5 Then went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about the Jordan;
6 and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
GMatthew's first mention of Jordan likewise lacks "river".

Lukewise:

Luke 3
3 And he came into all the region round about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance unto remission of sins;
and here there is no following mention of "river".

The baptism here also has good parallels to The Jewish Bible:

2 Kings 2
13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of the Jordan.
14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is Jehovah, the God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they were divided hither and thither; and Elisha went over.
15 And when the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho over against him saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
No mention of "river".


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Remember John John

Post by JoeWallack » Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:58 pm

Herod, That Man's Not Your Friend

JW:
Continuing with The Skeptical Critical Commentary of GMark and the likely first Markan pericope - John Baptiste:

1:6
And John was clothed with camel`s hair, and [had] a leathern girdle about his loins, and did eat locusts and wild honey.
What exactly was John clothed with? Note that clothing, or lack thereof, is a surprisingly important subject in GMark. The minority candidate:

https://www.laparola.net/greco/index.php

δέρριν
  • D = Codex Bezae. 5th century and 6th best Christian Bible witness.

    ita = Codex Vercellensis. 4th century (oldest Latin witness).

    geoA = Georgian. 5th century.
The word means "animal skin". The majority candidate is "camel hair". So which is The Difficult Reading?

Interestingly, the offending Greek word is used in:

Zechariah 13
1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.
2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith Jehovah of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered; and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
3 And it shall come to pass that, when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of Jehovah; and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he prophesieth; neither shall they wear a hairy mantle to deceive:
5 but he shall say, I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the ground; for I have been made a bondman from my youth.
Note that in addition to the word, the Markan pericope of John the Baptist and in total is all over Zechariah 13 like Lechner on Myggs. In an irnoy that even "Mark" would be amazed at, 13:4 speaks of a Prophet giving a prophecy about a false prophet giving a false prophecy. If "Mark" did intend the offending word to link to Zechariah 13 then the parallel takeaway is that the animal skin worn by John the Baptist identifies him as a false prophet.

The Skeptical Critical Commentary has already identified 1:1-3 as likely not original. 1:1-3, which would have started GMark, made a positive prediction about John the Baptist/Jesus. Without it GMark would start with a negative prediction about John the Baptist/Jesus. There is other good evidence in GMark that Jesus was not the Messiah. This leads to some interesting speculation:
  • 1) Support that Ben is right. GMark had a source which was more explicit in rejection of Jesus or that at least that the supposed resurrection happened/was important.

    2) Support that Secret Agent Man is right. GMark had a source, used by Marcion, which was more explicit that Jesus was the Son of God and not the Jewish Messiah.
In the meantime, more textul criticism needs to be done here to determine likely original of 1:6.

Bonus material for Solo = How important is clothing to "Mark"?


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Re: Remember John John

Post by Martin Klatt » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:00 am

Last edited by Martin Klatt on Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:15 am, edited 5 times in total.
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