Pilate as a later addition in Mark

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Giuseppe
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Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:36 am


Pierre -E. Guillet. “Entree en scene de Pilate,” CahCercErnRen 24 (98, ’77) 1-24.Nothing in the Talmud or the genuine Pauline letters attributes a role to Pilate in the death of Jesus. Pilate entered the scene of the passion story in the edition of Mk that was strongly influenced by Jewish-Christian animosity toward the emperor Hadrian’s measures in putting down the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

https://archive.org/stream/newtestament ... e_djvu.txt

Unfortunately, I don't find a way to access to this article.


But I wonder if a case may be made supporting this point.

In particular, the words of Pilate raise a suspicion:
The chief priests accused him of many things.

See how many things they are accusing you of.

Jesus was not accused of «many things», according to Mark 14, but definitely of only one thing: for the his Messianic claim (see 14:62).

Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
...
Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
....
The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They all condemned him as worthy of death.

This means that Jesus was not accused, at the end of the trial by the sinedrites and before the trial by Pilate, of destroying the temple, etc.


Hence, how can the our text explain what are these «many things» , when the final reason to decide the death of Jesus was only «the» his blasphemy?

This may be a clue of editorial fatigue: the author of the Pilate episode was not the same autor of Mark 14. But then why did he insist that Jesus was accused «of many things» by the Jews?

Because the presumed editor (of an original Mark without Pilate) knew what the Talmudic Jews were saying about Jesus: that he was accused of a lot of sorcery, blasphemy, heresy, robbery, etc. These Talmudic accusations were numerous.

Hence the editor was introducing Pilate in a previous Gospel of Mark (without Pilate), in a time when the Christ was already highly defamed by the kind of accusations found later in Celsus (the his Jew) and in the Talmud.

If it is true that Bar-Kokhba persecuted the Christians, then these accusations were already made by that time.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by Giuseppe » Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:05 am

The Talmud knows the Gospels but not Pilate:

But why does the Talmud insist on the strange detail of the herald announcing the execution forty days before it takes place? The plain answer it gives is to leave enough time for prospective witnesses in Jesus’ defense to come forward and to argue against the accusation. But there might be another subtext here that again subtly, or rather not so subtly, responds to
the New Testament narrative.45 There, Jesus foretells his disciples three times that he will be killed and resurrected within three days,46 the last time on his way to Jerusalem before the Passion begins, that is shortly before Passover:
(32) They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, (33) saying, “See we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the High Priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; (34) they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.”47

In emphasizing that the herald announced Jesus execution, and not just immediately before it took place but precisely forty days in advance, the Bavli directly contradicts Jesus’ own prediction. Why all this fuss about him playing the prophet by dramatically prophesying his trial, sentence, and death—not only once but three times, the last time even a few days before it was about to happen? We all know, the Talmud counters, that he was going to be executed: because our (the Jewish) court had made this
decision in public proceedings—as is customary in the Jewish law—and moreover had sent out a herald to proclaim this sentence publicly forty days before the execution (an unusually long period, not required in the Mishna), so that everybody could know it and, if necessary, had ample time to come up with exonerating evidence to prevent a wrong judgment.
Hence, in providing the forty-day period the Bavli intends to expose Jesus once more as a swindler and false prophet who makes a fool of himself in claiming to predict what everybody already knew.

(Peter Schafer, Jesus in the Talmud, p. 69-70)
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:19 am

It seems that already J.M. Robertson shared the same view of Guillet about Pilate: he was introduced by Jewish-Christians in the Gospel tradition against all the Gentiles.

Finally, there is a manipulation of narratives on the question of the responsibility for Jesus' execution, the outcome being that it lies neither with the Roman governor nor with the sub-Roman king, but with the Jewish priests and people, even as the life of the Child-God at his birth is menaced by the Jewish King. In all likelihood most of those episodes were first set forth in a Gentile Passion-play, whence they passed into the common stream of tradition ; but such an item as the part played by Pilate is likely to have been first introduced from the Jewish side, Pilate having been an object of special Jewish detestation.

(J.M. Robertson, Short history of Christianity, p. 28, my bold)

The pattern in action would be:

The Talmudic Jews hated so much the Christ that they pointed out with pride the Jewish responsability in the death of Jesus.

The Jewish Christians after Bar-Bokhba hated so much the Romans that they introduced Pilate as the real killer of Jesus.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

Giuseppe
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Re: Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by Giuseppe » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:41 am

A particular moral ambiguity by Pilate in Mark is shown by the his awareness that the sinedrites accused Jesus "for envy". Even so, Pilate doesn't save Jesus. The "envy" was an envy of the fact that Jesus was the Christ. This assumes that the Jews wanted that a their own person was the Christ. But they knew that this was not possible, hence the "envy" of Jesus, of something of which Jesus had now the exclusive possession (the title of Christ) but that they - the sinedrites - didn't have. And Pilate knew all this.

Translated in a post-Bar Kokhba time this means that the Romans "knew" that the Jews hated Jesus because their Christ Bar-Kokhba was died, while Jesus continued to be called the Christ by the Christians. Even so, the Romans persecuted the (Jewish-)Christians. The crime of Pilate (=a cipher for the Romans) is that he didn't any distinction between a mere Jewish rebel (Bar-Kokhba) and Jesus Christ. He persecuted both. Even worse, he freed the Jewish rebel and killed only Jesus.

Now, Barabbas is a mere parody against the Christ of Marcion. But Marcion used this same parody by seeing in Barabbas precisely Bar-Kokhba.

Pilate was the allegory of the Roman blindness before anything Jewish, the same blindness of Hadrian who persecuted all the Jews also the Jewish-Christians.

Remember that Bar-Kokhba was mentioned in the Revelation per Turmel.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by neilgodfrey » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:27 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:36 am

Because the presumed editor (of an original Mark without Pilate) knew what the Talmudic Jews were saying about Jesus: that he was accused of a lot of sorcery, blasphemy, heresy, robbery, etc. These Talmudic accusations were numerous.

Hence the editor was introducing Pilate in a previous Gospel of Mark (without Pilate), in a time when the Christ was already highly defamed by the kind of accusations found later in Celsus (the his Jew) and in the Talmud.
I think the reasoning is circular here. "Hence..." is what is assumed in order to argue the "because..." details, so it cannot also be the conclusion of those details.

As for the being accused of many things, certainly it is a very vague statement, but so are many verses in the Psalms and Isaiah from which the author of this gospel drew:
Psalm 27:12 Deliver me not over to the desire of them that afflict me; for unjust witnesses have risen up against me, and injustice has lied within herself.

Psalm 35:11-12 Unjust witnesses arose, and asked me of things I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good, and bereavement to my soul.

Psalm 38:12-14 While they pressed hard upon me that sought my soul: and they that sought my hurt spoke vanities, and devised deceits all the day
. But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and was as a dumb man not opening his mouth. And I was as a man that hears not, and who has no reproofs in his mouth.

Psalm 109:2-5 for the mouth of the sinner and the mouth of the crafty man have been opened against me: they have spoken against me with a crafty tongue. And they have compassed me with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. Instead of loving me, they falsely accused me: but I continued to pray. And they rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. Set thou a sinner against him; and let the devil stand at his right hand.

Isaiah 53:7 And he, because of his affliction, opens not his mouth: he was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.
Mark is vague on the details of the many false accusations because his source is vague -- that seems a simpler explanation.

The Jewish accusations against Jesus more likely arose after the gospel narrative was becoming widely known and attracting Jews to the faith it narrated.

If there were a gospel before our canonical version of Mark whose author knew of "sorcery, blasphemy, heresy, robbery", then those accusations must have been circulating even before any gospel was written. But there is nothing in the teaching of Paul, Hebrews or other possible pre-gospel literature that taught anything about Jesus that would give cause for accusations of "sorcery, robbery, heresy, blasphemy". Maybe some Jews might have accused Christians of heresy but there was nothing about Jesus that would prompt anyone to accuse him of heresy -- until after a gospel was written.

So "being accused of many things" -- if it appeared in the first gospel -- surely came from the Psalms, as did so much else in the Passion Narrative.

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Re: Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by Giuseppe » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:58 pm

You are correct, but that was the my ridicolous argument to support the idea that Pilate was a late addition in Mark, it is not the argument of Guillet, about which I don't know nothing.

For what I know until now, the my reasons to suspect that Pilate was not in proto-Mark (or the Earliest Gospel) are:

1) in Acts 5:30 Peter accuses the Jews that they killed Jesus and (after?) they hanged him on a tree. And the Roman Festus knows the same thing about Jesus.

2) The basic reason for the Pilate's presence is to point out that Jesus is the king of Jews for the his own admission (Mark 15:2: "you say"). It is also the reason found by Pilate to put formally him to death. Hence who introduced Pilate betrayed some excessive insistence on the identity of Jesus with the Jewish Christ.

3) the Talmud knows only the story of Jews killing and hanging Jesus. Pilate is absent.

4) In Ascension of Isaiah, considered as a historicist text, Herod is the "king" who moves the Jews to kill Jesus. Pilate is absent.


I confess that it is especially the point 2 to be persuasive in my view. Add to this the fact that the Jewish-Christians wanted that at least a Pagan should share the guilty with the Jews about the death of Jesus. Even the two thieves could represent the Jewish humanity and the Gentile humanity. This would explain why Luke gives the grace to the Good Thief (the Gentile humanity) and he damned the other.
Nihil enim in speciem fallacius est quam prava religio. -Liv. xxxix. 16.

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Re: Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:18 pm

Giuseppe wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:58 pm
You are correct, but that was the my ridicolous argument to support the idea that Pilate was a late addition in Mark, it is not the argument of Guillet, about which I don't know nothing.

For what I know until now, the my reasons to suspect that Pilate was not in proto-Mark (or the Earliest Gospel) are:

1) in Acts 5:30 Peter accuses the Jews that they killed Jesus and (after?) they hanged him on a tree. And the Roman Festus knows the same thing about Jesus.

2) The basic reason for the Pilate's presence is to point out that Jesus is the king of Jews for the his own admission (Mark 15:2: "you say"). It is also the reason found by Pilate to put formally him to death. Hence who introduced Pilate betrayed some excessive insistence on the identity of Jesus with the Jewish Christ.

3) the Talmud knows only the story of Jews killing and hanging Jesus. Pilate is absent.

4) In Ascension of Isaiah, considered as a historicist text, Herod is the "king" who moves the Jews to kill Jesus. Pilate is absent.
I would add the gospel of Peter; I know Pilate is present, but it is Herod who hands Jesus over to "the people," and they crucify him.
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Re: Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:25 am

Giuseppe wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:36 am

Pierre -E. Guillet. “Entree en scene de Pilate,” CahCercErnRen 24 (98, ’77) 1-24. Nothing in the Talmud or the genuine Pauline letters attributes a role to Pilate in the death of Jesus. Pilate entered the scene of the passion story in the edition of Mk that was strongly influenced by...animosity toward the emperor Hadrian’s measures in putting down the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Giuseppe wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:19 am

It seems that already J.M. Robertson shared the same view of Guillet about Pilate: he was introduced by Jewish-Christians in[to] the Gospel tradition against all the Gentiles.

Finally, there is a manipulation of narratives on the question of the responsibility for Jesus' execution, the outcome being that it lies neither with the Roman governor nor with the sub-Roman king, but with the Jewish priests and people ... In all likelihood most of those episodes were first set forth in a Gentile Passion-play, whence they passed into the common stream of tradition; but such an item as the part played by Pilate is likely to have been first introduced from the Jewish side, Pilate having been an object of special Jewish detestation. (J.M. Robertson, Short history of Christianity, p. 28)

The pattern in action [c]ould be:

... Jews hated so much the [Messiah-] Christ that they [proposed] with pride Jewish responsibility in the death of Jesus.

The Jewish Christians after Bar-Bokhba hated so much the Romans that they introduced Pilate as the real killer of Jesus.

Josephus, in Jewish Antiquities 18.85-87, recounts Pontius Pilate confronting a mob in Samaria in 36 CE led by a Prophet who,

..".. in all his designs catered to the mob, rallied them, bidding them [to] go in a body with him to Mount Gerizim, which in their belief is the most sacred of mountains [where] he would show them the sacred vessels ... where Moses had deposited them."


A "prophet like Moses" trope, based on Deuteronomy 18.15-19, was one of the four kinds of messianology that modern scholars discern for the years between 170 BCE and 140 CE.

[The others being
  1. The Messiah as military leader
  2. The Messiah as sage
  3. The Messiah as high-priest]

Mentions of Moses would often invoke or be associated with the notion of a Messiah. It was a fairly predominant Jewish idea that the Messiah would show the true meaning of the Law of Moses. The Samaritan equivalent is the Taheb.


Josephus goes on, -

..".. But, before they could ascend, Pilate blocked their projected route up the mountain with a detachment of cavalry and heavily armed infantry, who in an encounter with the first comers in the village slew some in a pitched battle and put the others to flight. Many prisoners were taken, of whom Pilate put to death the principal leaders and those who were most influential among the fugitives.

That could have influenced an author or the authors of the gospel of Mark.

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Re: Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by Ben C. Smith » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:27 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:25 am
A "prophet like Moses" trope, based on Deuteronomy 18.15-19, was one of the four kinds of messianology that modern scholars discern for the years between 170 BCE and 140 CE.

[The others being
  1. The Messiah as military leader
  2. The Messiah as sage
  3. The Messiah as high-priest]
What is the attestation for the Messiah as sage? I am familiar with:
  1. A prophet like Moses (= Taheb) or like Elijah.
  2. A king like David (= Messiah ben David).
  3. A priest like Aaron or like Melchizedek.
  4. A warrior like Joshua or Joseph/Ephraim (= Messiah ben Joseph).
Is the "sage" figure one of those, or is he a different character? What are the references?
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MrMacSon
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Re: Pilate as a later addition in Mark

Post by MrMacSon » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:23 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:27 am
MrMacSon wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:25 am
A "prophet like Moses" trope, based on Deuteronomy 18.15-19, was one of the four kinds of messianology that modern scholars discern for the years between 170 BCE and 140 CE.

[The others being
  1. The Messiah as military leader
  2. The Messiah as sage
  3. The Messiah as high-priest]
What is the attestation for the Messiah as sage? I am familiar with:
  1. A prophet like Moses (= Taheb) or like Elijah.
  2. A king like David (= Messiah ben David).
  3. A priest like Aaron or like Melchizedek.
  4. A warrior like Joshua or Joseph/Ephraim (= Messiah ben Joseph).
Is the "sage" figure one of those, or is he a different character? What are the references?
I got that list from https://www.livius.org/articles/religio ... ike-moses/ which hyperlinks 'The Messiah as sage' to https://www.livius.org/articles/religio ... ah-3-sage/

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