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Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:46 pm
by Irish1975
Mark's story of Jesus in the wilderness as midrash on Paul's time in "Arabia."

Galatians 1:

15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased [εὐδόκησεν]
16 to reveal his son in me so that I might preach him among the gentiles, straightaway [εὐθέως] I did not consult with flesh and blood,
17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.


Mark 1:

9 It happened that in those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 Immediately [εὐθὺς] coming up out of the water he saw the heavens splitting/opening [σχιζομένους], and the spirit like a dove descending upon him;
11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are my beloved son, in you I am well-pleased [εὐδόκησα].”
12 Immediately [εὐθὺς] the spirit thrust him out into the wilderness.
13 And he was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels were serving him.

The adverb euthus/eutheos is rare in Paul, but Mark uses it constantly.

The KJV and many modern translations render the "splitting" (schism) of the heavens as opening, as though it were merely a pair of elevator doors parting so that the Holy Spirit could slip through. This fits a certain theology of divine transcendence. But σχιζομένους has to be rendered as tearing, dividing, rending, splitting, dividing.

Perhaps it is not only the Holy Spirit who descends, but also Satan, his beasts [θηρία], and some good angels too. (A therion in the NT is often Satan or his representative, such as the snake-like creature that Paul shakes into the fire in Acts 28.) The warring sons of the Most High bring their war to earth.

The Christ must divide and separate himself from the evil son of God.
Paul must divide and separate himself from the Law and the pillars.

Re: Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:43 pm
by Ben C. Smith
Irish1975 wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:46 pm
Mark's story of Jesus in the wilderness as midrash on Paul's time in "Arabia."

Galatians 1:

15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased [εὐδόκησεν]
16 to reveal his son in me so that I might preach him among the gentiles, straightaway [εὐθέως] I did not consult with flesh and blood,
17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.


Mark 1:

9 It happened that in those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 Immediately [εὐθὺς] coming up out of the water he saw the heavens splitting/opening [σχιζομένους], and the spirit like a dove descending upon him;
11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are my beloved son, in you I am well-pleased [εὐδόκησα].”
12 Immediately [εὐθὺς] the spirit thrust him out into the wilderness.
13 And he was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels were serving him.

Interesting.

What do you think of the more mainstream derivation of the heavenly voice from a combination of Genesis 22.2, Psalm 2.7, and Isaiah 42.1?

Genesis 22.1-2: 1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take now your son [OG τὸν υἱόν σου], your only son [OG τὸν ἀγαπητόν], whom you love [OG ὃν ἠγάπησας], Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”

Psalm 2.7: 7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord. He said to Me, ‘You are My Son [OG υἱός μου εἶ συ]. Today I have begotten You.’”

Isaiah 42.1: 1 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold, My chosen one, in whom My soul delights [רָצְתָה נַפְשִׁי, Theodotion ὅν ηὐδόκησεν ἡ ψυχή μου; Matthew 12.18]. I have put My Spirit [OG τὸ πνεῦμά μου] upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.”

Mark 1.9-11: 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son [σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός], in You I am well pleased [ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα].”

Adela Yarbro Collins, Commentary on Mark (Hermeneia), page 150: 150 To the saying from Ps 2:7 the text of Mark adds the words “the beloved one” (ὁ ἀγαπητός). The source or model of this term is difficult to determine. One possibility is that Mark 1:11 alludes to the story of the near sacrifice of Isaac, implying that the near-death of Isaac prefigures the actual death of Jesus and its symbolic meaning. Another, more likely explanation is that the expression “the beloved one” (ὁ ἀγαπητός) was inspired by the other passage that is actualized or fulfilled in the speech of the divine voice, Isa 42:1, the first part of which reads, “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights.” .... The second part of the saying of the divine voice in Mark 1:11, “I take delight in you” (ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα), is closer to the MT than to the LXX. In the former, Isa 42:1b reads “my soul takes delight (in him)” (רצתה נפשׁי), whereas the LXX reads “my soul receives him” (προσεδέξατο αὐτὸν ἡ ψυχή μου). This passage also has an intertextual relationship with the description of the descent of the Spirit in Mark 1:10, since Isa 42:1 continues “I have put my Spirit upon him.” [Refer also to Mary Ann Beavis, Commentary on Mark (Paideia), page 36; Vincent Taylor, The Gospel According to Saint Mark, page 162.]

If Mark got the second half of the announcement from Paul, does that rule out Isaiah 42.1 as the source, with its announcement of the Spirit coming upon the Servant?

Re: Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:59 pm
by Irish1975
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:43 pm
What do you think of the more mainstream derivation of the heavenly voice from a combination of Genesis 22.2, Psalm 2.7, and Isaiah 42.1?
They're both midrashing to OT to pieces, of course. I was interested in the possibility of a direct allusion to Paul and wanting to focus on that.
If Mark got the second half of the announcement from Paul, does that rule out Isaiah 42.1 as the source, with its announcement of the Spirit coming upon the Servant?
Again, I'm not meaning to rule out Isaiah or any other influence. I'm more interested in what he's doing with it. Is he alluding to Paul? Does the revelation of JC to Paul in Galatians 1 stand behind Mark's baptism/wilderness story of Jesus? I was also thinking about the similar ways that Mark and Paul are setting the scene for an apocalyptic drama quite different from what is in those other sources.

Re: Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:21 pm
by Ben C. Smith
Irish1975 wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 5:59 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:43 pm
What do you think of the more mainstream derivation of the heavenly voice from a combination of Genesis 22.2, Psalm 2.7, and Isaiah 42.1?
They're both midrashing to OT to pieces, of course. I was interested in the possibility of a direct allusion to Paul and wanting to focus on that.
If Mark got the second half of the announcement from Paul, does that rule out Isaiah 42.1 as the source, with its announcement of the Spirit coming upon the Servant?
Again, I'm not meaning to rule out Isaiah or any other influence. I'm more interested in what he's doing with it. Is he alluding to Paul? Does the revelation of JC to Paul in Galatians 1 stand behind Mark's baptism/wilderness story of Jesus? I was also thinking about the similar ways that Mark and Paul are setting the scene for an apocalyptic drama quite different from what is in those other sources.
Well, I have argued before that Mark derived (A) his inner circle of Peter, James, and John and (B) his clear Petrine pattern of starting strong and finishing weak from the epistle to the Galatians, so I am all in favor of the attempt to find Pauline influence in Mark! :cheers:

I once sorted all of the gospel references to Peter into categories, and there were really only three:
  1. Peter takes part in an event along with James and John.
  2. Peter demonstrates a clear pattern of starting strong and finishing weak.
  3. Peter takes part in a mystic event involving a revelation or visions of some kind.
It is difficult to find a pericope involving Peter which does not involve at least one of these themes; I think there is maybe a total of one such passage in Mark. Anyway, and accordingly, I hypothesized that Mark or his tradents used Galatians (and maybe some other Pauline epistles, but at least Galatians) for the first two themes and the common church tradition that Cephas/Peter had been the first to receive an appearance of the Lord for the third.

The following passages, for example, may be related:

Mark 4.16-17: 16 “In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places [τὰ πετρώδη], who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; 17 and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution [διωγμοῦ] arises because of the word, immediately they are scandalized [σκανδαλίζονται].”

Mark 8.34: 34 And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross [σταυρὸν] and follow Me.”

Galatians 5.7: 7 You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth? [Could be a fitting summary of the typical behavior of Peter/Cephas.]

Galatians 5.11: 11 But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted [διώκομαι]? Then the scandal [σκάνδαλον] of the cross [σταυροῦ] has been abolished.

The Transfiguration shows Peter as one of the three Pillars, and it also may be basically a relocated "appearance in glory."

And so on.

(Sorry. Not intending to derail your thread. It just reminded me of all this.)

Re: Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:53 pm
by Benway
If euthus/eutheos is common in Mark, but its use in Galatians 1 is unusual, then wouldn't that hint that Galatians 1 draws on Mark, rather than the other way around?

Re: Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:16 pm
by Irish1975
Benway wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 6:53 pm
If euthus/eutheos is common in Mark, but its use in Galatians 1 is unusual, then wouldn't that hint that Galatians 1 draws on Mark, rather than the other way around?
The verbal echo by itself doesn’t mean much.

Some crazy people on this site think that Galatians could have been written after gMark. I think they’re probably smoking too much weed!

Re: Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:16 pm
by Irish1975
Sorry guys. Hit the submit button too soon on that one...

Re: Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 4:27 am
by davidmartin
what Paul does is 2 things
First he upholds a narrative of a pre-existing set of pillars
Second he disagrees with them
Many focus on the disagreement without questioning the notion of the pillars, who are these pillars and are they real or artificial?

Re: Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:01 am
by Kunigunde Kreuzerin
Irish1975 wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:46 pm
Mark's story of Jesus in the wilderness as midrash on Paul's time in "Arabia."

Galatians 1:

15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased [εὐδόκησεν]
16 to reveal his son in me so that I might preach him among the gentiles, straightaway [εὐθέως] I did not consult with flesh and blood,
17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Damascus, and returned once more to Damascus.


Mark 1:

9 It happened that in those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
10 Immediately [εὐθὺς] coming up out of the water he saw the heavens splitting/opening [σχιζομένους], and the spirit like a dove descending upon him;
11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are my beloved son, in you I am well-pleased [εὐδόκησα].”
12 Immediately [εὐθὺς] the spirit thrust him out into the wilderness.
13 And he was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels were serving him.

Irish1975, that's a very good suggestion.

I would add that in the ancient times Arabia was well known as a desert plain. In both cases there is also a return to the starting point (Damascus, Galilee). The result, in both cases, is a mission to preach the gospel.

Galatians Mark
1:16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles 1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,
1:38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”


Re: Galatians 1 & Mark 1

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:56 am
by Irish1975
Kunigunde Kreuzerin wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:01 am

I would add that in the ancient times Arabia was well known as a desert plain. In both cases there is also a return to the starting point (Damascus, Galilee). The result, in both cases, is a mission to preach the gospel.

Galatians Mark
1:16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles 1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God,
1:38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”

Yeah, good point. That’s why these echoes are so important. gMark is telling the story of Paul over again, but this time through Jesus. Or at least that is one significant layer in gMark. I have been reading Paul Nadim Tarazi, who sees Paul almost everywhere in gMark, almost to the point of absurdity. It’s good to be modest about what gMark “means.” But at any rate this interpretation is an important corrective to mainstream NT scholars, who like to pretend that the Evangelists were in fact completely ignorant of the Pauline epistles. E.P. Sanders even stipulated as much in his popular 90s book, The Historical Figure of Jesus.