What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

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Secret Alias
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What Are the Implications that Peter Taught in 'Anecdotes'?

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:26 am

Why is Peter taken to be the subject of the highlighted sentence and not Mark:
Μάρκος μὲν ἑρμηνευτὴς Πέτρου γενόμενος, ὅσα ἐμνημόνευσεν, ἀκριβῶς ἔγραψεν, οὐ μέντοι τάξει τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ κυρίου ἢ λεχθέντα ἢ πραχθέντα. οὔτε γὰρ ἤκουσεν τοῦ κυρίου οὔτε παρηκολούθησεν αὐτῷ, ὕστε ρον δὲ, ὡς ἔφην, Πέτρῳ· ὃς πρὸς τὰς χρείας ἐποιεῖτο τὰς διδασκαλίας, ἀλλ' οὐχ ὥσπερ σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ποιούμενος λογίων, ὥστε οὐδὲν ἥμαρτεν Μάρκος οὕτως ἔνια γράψας ὡς ἀπεμνημόνευσεν.
Last edited by Secret Alias on Sun Mar 15, 2020 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question for Ben

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:38 am

ὃς πρὸς = 'with respect to; as far as ... is concerned'
χρεία is troublesome for me.

Even though the sense some translate is “who [Peter] used to give teaching as necessity demanded,” χρεία is still problematic for me as is the subject of the sentence. Is the referent Mark who is giving the teachings? The next parts of the sentence surely deal with Mark.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Ken Olson
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Re: Question for Ben

Post by Ken Olson » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:15 am

I'm not Ben, but:

ὃς = "who", probably has the immediately preceding proper noun Peter as its antecedent

πρὸς τὰς χρείας = "according to the necessities" (or "according to his needs")

The part you've put in bold is about Peter. The last clause of the sentence (not in bold, after the comma in your text) is surely dealing with Mark, but the fact that it names Mark probably signals the need to indicate a change of subject from what immediately precedes it.

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Ken

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Re: Question for Ben

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:51 am

Ken Olson wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:15 am
I'm not Ben, but:

ὃς = "who", probably has the immediately preceding proper noun Peter as its antecedent

πρὸς τὰς χρείας = "according to the necessities" (or "according to his needs")

The part you've put in bold is about Peter. The last clause of the sentence (not in bold, after the comma in your text) is surely dealing with Mark, but the fact that it names Mark probably signals the need to indicate a change of subject from what immediately precedes it.
I agree with all of this. I would add, concerning πρὸς τὰς χρείας:

Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, chapter 9, Papias on Mark and Matthew: The translation of pros tas chreias as “according to needs” has now been largely abandoned in favor of the view that Papias uses chreia here as a technical rhetorical term to describe the form in which Peter delivered his teachings about Jesus. The argument was first made by R. O. P. Taylor in 1946. He pointed out that the chreia was a rhetorical form defined and described in the ancient handbooks of rhetoric that were guides to elementary education. He quoted the definition given by Aelius Theon: “A Chreia is a concise and pointed account of something said or done, attributed to some particular person” (Theon, Progymnasmata 3.2-3). Taylor also observed “that the definition exactly fits the detachable little stories of which so much of Mark consists — which are, indeed, characteristic of the first three Gospels.” Taylor’s interpretation was taken up by Robert Grant. Then, without reference to Taylor, the same interpretation of Papias’s phrase was later championed by Kürzinger, who made it part of his broader argument for the use of rhetorical terminology throughout the fragments of Papias quoted by Eusebius. Since then it has been quite widely accepted.

Aelius Theon, Progymnasmata 3 (περὶ χρείας), pages 96-97a (translation slightly modified from that of George Alexander Kennedy): 96 A chreia is a brief saying or action making a point, attributed to some specified person or something corresponding to a person, and maxim and reminiscence are connected with it. Every brief maxim attributed to a person creates a chreia. A reminiscence is an action or a saying useful for life. The maxim, however, differs from the chreia in four ways: the chreia is always attributed to a person, the maxim not always; the chreia sometimes states a universal, sometimes a particular, the maxim only a universal; furthermore, sometimes the chreia is a pleasantry not useful for life, the maxim is always about something 97a useful in life; fourth, the chreia is an action or a saying, the maxim is only a saying. The reminiscence is distinguished from the chreia in two ways: the chreia is brief, the reminiscence is sometimes extended, and the chreia is attributed to a particular person, while the reminiscence is also remembered for its own sake. A chreia is given that name par excellence, because more than the other [exercises] it is useful for many situations in life, just as we have grown accustomed to call Homer “the poet” because of his excellence, although there are many poets. / 96 Χρεία ἐστὶ σύντομος ἀπόφασις ἢ πρᾶξις μετ' εὐστοχίας ἀναφερομένη εἴς τι ὡρισμένον πρόσωπον ἢ ἀναλογοῦν προσώπῳ, παράκειται δὲ αὐτῇ γνώμη καὶ ἀπομνημόνευμα· πᾶσα γὰρ γνώμη σύντομος εἰς πρόσωπον ἀναφερομένη χρείαν ποιεῖ. καὶ τὸ ἀπομνημόνευμα δὲ πρᾶξίς ἐστιν ἢ λόγος βιωφελής. διαφέρει δὲ ἡ μὲν γνώμη τῆς χρείας τέτρασι τοῖσδε, τῷ τὴν μὲν χρείαν πάντως ἀναφέρεσθαι εἰς πρόσωπον, τὴν δὲ γνώμην οὐ πάντως, καὶ τῷ ποτὲ μὲν τὸ καθόλου, ποτὲ δὲ τὸ ἐπὶ μέρους ἀποφαίνεσθαι τὴν χρείαν, τὴν δὲ γνώμην καθόλου μόνον· ἔτι δὲ τῷ χαριεντίζεσθαι τὴν χρείαν ἐνίοτε μηδὲν ἔχουσαν βιωφελές, τὴν δὲ γνώμην ἀεὶ περὶ τῶν ἐν 97a τῷ βίῳ χρησίμων εἶναι· τέταρτον ὅτι ἡ μὲν χρεία πρᾶξις ἢ λόγος ὑπάρχει, ἡ δὲ γνώμη λόγος ἐστὶ μόνον. τὸ δὲ ἀπομνημόνευμα δυσὶ τοῖσδε κεχώρισται τῆς χρείας· ἡ μὲν γὰρ σύντομος, τὸ δὲ ἀπομνημόνευμα ἔσθ' ὅτε ἐπεκτείνεται, καὶ ἡ μὲν ἀναφέρεται εἴς τινα πρόσωπα, τὸ δὲ ἀπομνημόνευμα καὶ καθ' ἑαυτὸ μνημονεύεται. εἴρηται δὲ χρεία κατ' ἐξοχήν, ὅτι μᾶλλον τῶν ἄλλων πρὸς πολλὰ χρειώδης ἐστὶ τῷ βίῳ, καθάπερ καὶ Ὅμηρον πολλῶν ὄντων ποιητῶν κατ' ἐξοχὴν τοῦτον μόνον καλεῖν εἰώθαμεν ποιητήν.

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Re: Question for Ben

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:10 am

The last clause of the sentence (not in bold, after the comma in your text) is surely dealing with Mark, but the fact that it names Mark probably signals the need to indicate a change of subject from what immediately precedes it.
But is it NECESSARILY not about Mark merely because Mark is mentioned by name. I could be wrong but the whole point of Papias I think is to say - Mark did something to the 'oracles of the Lord' which while not quite 'false' or wrong affected the transmission of the information. Yes there is a sense of 'order' cited. Mark was Peter's transcriber (ἑρμηνευτής) who wrote down accurately, though not in polished form (ἀκριβῶςἔγραψεν, οὐ μέντοι τάξει), the words and deeds of Jesus which he had heard (ἤκουσε) in Peter's teaching. Papias does not specify what purpose Mark's writing was to serve, but there are hints that he considers it to be in the range of ὑπομνήματα. These hints are found in the comment about Mark not writing stylistically (τάξει) and Peter not intending to create a σύνταξιν τῶν κυριακῶν ... λογίων which is usually translated “an orderly composition of the Lord's words."

But it is worth noting that Philo employs σύνταξις as synonymous with βίβλιον (for instance Her. 1; Mut. 53; Abr. 2, 13; Mos. 2.1) where βίβλιον usually indicates a work that occupies a single book scroll (see, for instance, Polybius 4.1.1., and Josephus A.J 8.1). I wonder if Mark's use of the codex is influencing the discussion here.
[D]enn nach dem feststehenden Sprachgebrauch Philos bedeutet σύνταξις ( synonym mit βιβλίον ) stets ein einzelnes Buch , niemals eine größere Schriftenreihe https://books.google.com/books?id=f2pJA ... 22&f=false
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Re: Question for Ben

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:25 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:10 am
The last clause of the sentence (not in bold, after the comma in your text) is surely dealing with Mark, but the fact that it names Mark probably signals the need to indicate a change of subject from what immediately precedes it.
But is it NECESSARILY not about Mark merely because Mark is mentioned by name.
No, but, given how absolutely brutal it would be for the ὃς in Πέτρῳ ὃς not to refer to Peter, it does merit mention.

Also, the whole logic of the passage stands with the obvious translation. Mark did not write in order. Why not? Papias says it was because he listened to Peter's teaching and not to the Lord himself. But so what? Well, Peter was teaching to the needs (πρὸς τὰς χρείας) of his audience, not making an orderly arrangement (οὐχ... σύνταξιν). This is why Mark did not err (οὐδὲν ἥμαρτεν) in writing as he did, out of order.
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Re: Question for Ben

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:33 am

But - at least theoretically - there could be an agreement with this:
As for Mark, then, during Peter's stay in Rome he wrote an account of the Lord's doings, not, however, declaring all of them, nor yet hinting at the secret ones, but selecting what he thought most useful for increasing the faith of those who were being instructed
In other words, that the way Mark looked was owing to editorial decisions Mark made on his own. This also dovetails with Clement's report in the Outlines that he was ambivalent to the final product.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: Question for Ben

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:39 am

Secret Alias wrote:
Thu Mar 12, 2020 11:33 am
But - at least theoretically - there could be an agreement with this:
As for Mark, then, during Peter's stay in Rome he wrote an account of the Lord's doings, not, however, declaring all of them, nor yet hinting at the secret ones, but selecting what he thought most useful for increasing the faith of those who were being instructed
In other words, that the way Mark looked was owing to editorial decisions Mark made on his own. This also dovetails with Clement's report in the Outlines that he was ambivalent to the final product.
Then why would Papias even mention Peter at all? How does Mark get the order wrong just by following Peter? The ὥστε implies that a reason has just been given, and it makes far more sense for that reason to have been Peter's not preaching in order than for it to have been Mark's own lack of intention to write in order. That is why Peter even comes up in this context. Without his teaching out of order, Mark's following of Peter makes no difference.
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Re: Question for Ben

Post by Ken Olson » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:24 pm

Two further comments:

First, Mark seems to have bookended the section where he departs from Mark as the subject and then resumes it by placing ὃς before the departure and re-introducing Mark by name after it. In the preceding sentence, he's content not to use a noun or pronoun at all but let the reader infer the subject from the form of the verb and the antecedent proper noun Mark in the sentence before that. If he meant for the subject to be Mark throughout, using ὃς and re-introducing Mark by name isn't so much impossible as inexplicable, as though he were trying to confuse his readers.

Second, I think what Papias is trying to convey here is that the authority behind Mark's Gospel is Peter. He wants to minimize Mark's own creative contribution. If Mark, rather than Peter, was the one "who, in the form of chreia, composed the teachings" that would contradict or at least seriously undermine the message of the final clause that Mark wrote it down just as he remembered it. I think the gist of it is that the teachings and the form in which they are given come from Peter, and Mark wrote it down accurately, without modifying anything.

Best,

Ken

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Re: Question for Ben

Post by Secret Alias » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:38 pm

Then why would Papias even mention Peter at all?
But this is only a few lines from one book. The ultimate context is 'the teaching of Peter.' Surely in previous sentences something of Peter and his teachings was referenced. By it's very nature - this is only one small snippet.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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