Markan Ending, Again

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Post Reply
Charles Wilson
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Markan Ending, Again

Post by Charles Wilson » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:33 am

Honored Poster Ben has a wonderful Post on Papias currently and I don't want to "muck it up" (sic).
He raises some interesting questions which may be more appropriately addressed in a new Thread:
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:21 pm
The famous "Last Page" appears to be missing.
I agree.
Who would have copied Mark?
IMHO, mostly gentile Christian communities and individuals interested in the earlier history of the movement...what most lacked was a more detailed narrative of how things came to be, and especially about their purported founder.
Was the last page missing at the time of the first copying?
Probably not.
What do we have? We agree that the "Last Page" of Mark appears to be missing in the Document we have now. Ben, however, sees the first copying occurring in Communities, plural, and that the last page may have been present then. Which implies that there may have been copies of Mark which contained that last page.

Mark 16: 8 (Moffatt):

[8] And they fled out of the tomb, for they were seized with terror and beside themselves. They said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid of ---.

We usually get, "...for they were afraid." Moffatt's "...for they were afraid of ---" is more revealing. Accepting Ben's thoughts here, the first copying of Mark for the "Communities" had the True Ending of Mark, whether the ending was copied in a Copy Room or was circulated and copied serially. At some point, a version of Mark lost the last page and this one is what we have. It is probably fruitless to organize a Search Party for a good copy of Mark that has the Original Ending. Even Conspiracy Theorists get tired.

This is why I am trying to focus on the Production of the Gospels. If I remember correctly, Titus ordered 40 copies of Josephus for posterity and his glorification. How many copies of Mark would be reasonable? If there was independent copying of Mark, would it be reasonable for one community to compare their copy with the community whose copy had become defective through loss of the last page? Perhaps but perhaps not.

We know that this corrupted copy caused problems. Moffatt footnotes verse 8 and starts with the following: "The following appendix represents a couple of second century attempts to complete the gospel..."

FWIW, my Time Line has Mark no earlier than around 110 since the Holy Spirit should be identified with Domitian. The Proto-Mark contains Stories from Herod and earlier, back to Jannaeus and the Hasmoneans with Tacitus and Pliny the Younger coordinating the "Empty Tomb". I also believe that Nicholas of Damascus had a hand in the early Stories, as did Mucianus.

Somehow, the corrupted Mark became the chosen Version and there are simply too many loose ends with that one. Ben is certainly onto something with his focus on Jericho. The specter is raised also that Markan Chiasms may have been later. THAT would be very important!

One final thought on the Chiasms: The Chiasms serve their purpose if they point to later mischief, by showing that insertions or redactions were made by people who were not aware of Markan Structure. Michael Turton's work on Markan Chiasms fulfills that role nicely. Concerning 16: 8:

"There is no A' bracket to oppose v2, a bracket involving movement from one geographical location to another. v8 resembles a very typical B' bracket that should be followed by an A' bracket reading, in typical Markan style, something like: "And they returned to Jerusalem."
***
A' It was the last day of the feast of the unleavened bread and many people were going out, returning to their houses since the festival was over. (Gospel of Peter)"

I certainly would invite comments on possible reasonable Time Lines on the Construction of Mark and the Gospels. My view is that the Constructions were made in a short time in the Roman Court - not in separate "Communities" - but it is certainly plausible that Ben and others are correct.

User avatar
Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8252
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Markan Ending, Again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:57 am

Charles Wilson wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:33 am
I certainly would invite comments on possible reasonable Time Lines on the Construction of Mark and the Gospels. My view is that the Constructions were made in a short time in the Roman Court - not in separate "Communities" - but it is certainly plausible that Ben and others are correct.
I am wide, wide open to being wrong about Mark being composed and distributed in a community. Maybe it was commissioned by an individual (I did write "and individuals" in my sentence, and I had almost put "and well-to-do individuals," since book production was not cheap, but I did not go ahead and specify). The gospel of Luke may have been commissioned by Theophilus, if Theophilus is not a code name for something or someone else.

Actually, too, what Clement of Alexandria describes as having happened does not quite fit into either a community model or an individual model. He envisions listeners of Peter petitioning Mark for a transcript, essentially, which fits in with the rhetoric of the ancient schools that I have been pointing out. That is, for Clement it is neither a matter of a wealthy individual commissioning a manuscript nor necessarily a matter of a scribe making copies in a church library or scriptorium; it is students of a teacher transcribing notes rather in the manner described by Galen.

So I, too, am still trying to narrow down the possibilities, ever keeping in mind that Papias and Clement are interpreting potential and actual events through their own lens.

Charles Wilson
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Re: Markan Ending, Again

Post by Charles Wilson » Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:18 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:57 am
The gospel of Luke may have been commissioned by Theophilus, if Theophilus is not a code name for something or someone else.
The best I could do with "God-Friend" is the Greek Ordering of the Royal Court - "Friends", "Honored Friends", "Guards of the Realm" and "Kinsmen" but I don't know if that eliminates the Roman Court or places "Theophilus" in Herod's Court. If Roman, it would probably be in Nerva's reign.
I am wide, wide open to being wrong about Mark being composed and distributed in a community. Maybe it was commissioned by an individual (I did write "and individuals" in my sentence, and I had almost put "and well-to-do individuals," since book production was not cheap, but I did not go ahead and specify).
No, I'm not sure your are wrong here, it's a matter of what constitutes a "community". If Mark is the first New Testament "Book", there is a lot of time already past. The Sociology of a growing "community" is largely "Undefined" here. "Oral Tradition" is unconvincing, to say the least. Something has to be left out by order or force and what is left in has to be protected. That's what Acts was for and Acts is very treacherous.

Giovanni Pettinato, The Archives of Ebla, ISBN 0-385-13152-6, p. 119:

"As for the scribes, Ebla was a famous cultural mecca and it is not surprising to read that scribes came from Mari to attend cuneiform courses offered at the academy of Ebla..."

Ebla and Mari are at war with each other with (the very Semitic phrase) "Heaps of Corpses" piled high on both sides. Time of this Sumerian History of a Scholarly Exchange? Earlier than 2250 BCE.

It's the Scribe part of this that is puzzling to me. I am quite confident that the "Man with the Withered Hand" is a Tale of the "Jesus" Character (A Mishmarot Priest in the Original) freeing a Scribe to tell what he knows about what happened 12 years earlier. The Scribes are both leaving things out and being protected by force. They take their protection quite openly and quite seriously:

Matthew 23: 13 (RSV):

[13] "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in.

This is a statement to real people about real things, not a statement to spirit beings speaking about spiritual things. To me, this is from the floor of the Temple, described by someone who was in Jerusalem, looking back. Is it from a Priest? Zakkai, perhaps? In Greek from Nicholas of Damascus?

After all of this, it still gets rewritten and Transvalued by the Romans. To me, at least...
Actually, too, what Clement of Alexandria describes as having happened does not quite fit into either a community model or an individual model. He envisions listeners of Peter petitioning Mark for a transcript, essentially, which fits in with the rhetoric of the ancient schools that I have been pointing out. That is, for Clement it is neither a matter of a wealthy individual commissioning a manuscript nor necessarily a matter of a scribe making copies in a church library or scriptorium; it is students of a teacher transcribing notes rather in the manner described by Galen.

So I, too, am still trying to narrow down the possibilities, ever keeping in mind that Papias and Clement are interpreting potential and actual events through their own lens.
A reasonable alternative. This also goes to the argument of whether the NT Mark was "Only" written in Greek. If there were Notes taken in, say, Aramaic and these were put together with Greek notes, would it then be honorable to say that this was the Proto-Greek Mark or does it have to be totally in Greek? Would a Greek Text arise in an Aramaic Landscape? This would all take time and that doesn't even consider your striking statement concerning Markan Chiasms.

At one point, there was a single extant version of Mark that had a missing last page. This version took money and time, perhaps starting from note-takers but eventually compiled and published from someone of wealth and importance. It was important enough that there were several attempts to "Finish the Gospel" by Priests in the very new Christian Community.

If you see anything, lemme know. The Production of Mark - and the Time Line it followed - still hasn't been finished.

Thank you, very much, Ben.

CW

User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Markan Ending, Again

Post by mlinssen » Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:19 am

Charles Wilson wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:18 pm
Matthew 23:13 (RSV):

[13] "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in.

This is a statement to real people about real things, not a statement to spirit beings speaking about spiritual things. To me, this is from the floor of the Temple, described by someone who was in Jerusalem, looking back. Is it from a Priest? Zakkai, perhaps? In Greek from Nicholas of Damascus?

39. say(s) IS : the(PL) Pharisee with the(PL) Scribe did they take the(PL) key of the(F) Knowledge did they be-hidden they Nor not-to-be they go-inward and they-who desire to go-inward not-to-be they permit they yourselves However come-to-be the(PL) Prudent-one in.the.manner of the(PL) serpent and the(PL) Pure-one in.the.manner of the(PL) dove

You can't base any gospel analysis on Thomas material, there are solid reasons why that is there. Perhaps there are secondary reasons, but just take it into account

And yes, that second part is Matthew 10:16 indeed - I really do wonder how people still wonder about the canonicals not having copied Thomas

And I'm trying to get a legible version out, I'm just contemplating on how I could do that without destroying the full normalisation

User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Markan Ending, Again

Post by mlinssen » Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:25 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:57 am
That is, for Clement it is neither a matter of a wealthy individual commissioning a manuscript nor necessarily a matter of a scribe making copies in a church library or scriptorium; it is students of a teacher transcribing notes rather in the manner described by Galen.
That's how I would try to sell it as well: make it voluntary, impulsive, personal, an intimate act of interest and love rather than a calculated move from a distant institute.
This way, it is all guaranteed: the closeness, the reliability, the trustworthiness, the accuracy - everything. Multiple students even, how could they have misheard any word from our Lawd?

Charles Wilson
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:13 am

Re: Markan Ending, Again

Post by Charles Wilson » Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:32 am

This is what I get for getting up at 4 in the morning "...for just a minute"!
mlinssen wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:19 am
Charles Wilson wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 10:18 pm
Matthew 23:13 (RSV):

[13] "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in.

This is a statement to real people about real things, not a statement to spirit beings speaking about spiritual things. To me, this is from the floor of the Temple, described by someone who was in Jerusalem, looking back. Is it from a Priest? Zakkai, perhaps? In Greek from Nicholas of Damascus?

39. say(s) IS : the(PL) Pharisee with the(PL) Scribe did they take the(PL) key of the(F) Knowledge did they be-hidden they Nor not-to-be they go-inward and they-who desire to go-inward not-to-be they permit they yourselves However come-to-be the(PL) Prudent-one in.the.manner of the(PL) serpent and the(PL) Pure-one in.the.manner of the(PL) dove

Gospel of Thomas, 39:

(39) Jesus says:
(1) “The Pharisees and the scribes have received the keys of knowledge, (but) they have hidden them.
(2) Neither have they entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to.
(3) You, however, be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves!”
You can't base any gospel analysis on Thomas material*, there are solid reasons why that is there. Perhaps there are secondary reasons, but just take it into account
When I get up tomorrow (Noon, I hope), I'm going to look at Teeple for a fragment there.

It appears that the Gospel of Thomas has made an empirical statement into a spiritual one, turning Matthew 23: 13 from a descriptive into a spiritual. This is what I mean about the "Man with the Withered Hand":

Mark 3: 1 - 4 (RSV):

[1] Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand.
[2] And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.
[3] And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here."
[4] And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent.

The statement, "Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?", is nonsensical in relation to the action of curing a man of a withered hand - Unless! The withered hand is being held back from writing about something that happened. The Man with the Withered Hand is therefore a Scribe. He is released from his strictures. The action is 12 years after the Original Event - the Temple Slaughter of 4 BCE. The Scribes and Pharisees DID hide and hold back Knowledge that they had. The empirical episode has been Transvalued into the spiritual.
And yes, that second part is Matthew 10:16 indeed - I really do wonder how people still wonder about the canonicals not having copied Thomas
And I'm trying to get a legible version out, I'm just contemplating on how I could do that without destroying the full normalisation
Very, very thoughtful.

CW

* You stated, "You can't base any gospel analysis on Thomas material...". Did you mean to say instead that, for example, "It would be good to examine certain NT passages in light of the Gospel of Thomas?" The original was a bit opaque to me...

User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Markan Ending, Again

Post by mlinssen » Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:49 am

Charles Wilson wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:32 am
This is what I get for getting up at 4 in the morning "...for just a minute"!
LOL! I'll consider myself honoured :notworthy:
Charles Wilson wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:32 am
CW

* You stated, "You can't base any gospel analysis on Thomas material...". Did you mean to say instead that, for example, "It would be good to examine certain NT passages in light of the Gospel of Thomas?" The original was a bit opaque to me...
Errr no, I do mean exactly what you fear I mean, I fear

1. Have you ever looked at the parables from a literary point of view? There are two completely different types: https://www.academia.edu/40951733/Two_t ... ht_and_day

2. Have you ever followed the 72 logia of Thomas that made it into the Synoptics and John? And compared all versions side by side? https://www.academia.edu/41668680/The_7 ... al_cousins

3. Have you ever wondered about John the Baptist? Or "James the Just", aka Jacob the Righteous?
https://www.academia.edu/40695711/Absol ... ory_manner

I am working on parallels between Thomas and Paul, yet Paul is so revolting to read, just like Matthew was - he made my physically sick and Paul I just can't read for more than 3 to 4 chapters in a row. But Thomas is the source for sure, the question is just why. I really like the current thinking towards 2nd century development of it all, and that would explain why the canonicals are so late - because they are!

User avatar
mlinssen
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:01 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Markan Ending, Again

Post by mlinssen » Tue Nov 17, 2020 3:15 am

mlinssen wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:49 am
Charles Wilson wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 1:32 am
(Off-topic final, and concise, point)

The splitting of logia by the gospel-writers, such as logion 79, is a solid case for them copying Thomas and not the other way around. Thomas joining Luke 11:27-28 with Mark 13:17 or Matthew 24:19? Good luck with arguing that case.

Thomas joining the two masters of Luke 16:13 or Matthew 6:24 to their 5:36-39 respectively 9:16-17, so that he can have his logion 47 complete?

Logion 39 has its doves and serpents moved to Matthew 10:16 whereas he has the other parts in chapter 23; he is the only one who has it so Thomas must have combined those two parts into one logion, because?

Logion 76 is used only by Matthew in a particularly poor version in 13:45-46 while ramming through three logia in a row, yet it is Luke and Matthew who use 76d in 12:33-34 respectively 6:19-21. What on earth would the motive be for Thomas to combine these, and isn't it perfectly intelligible why Matthew didn't want it to follow his copy?

Post Reply