is LXX Genesis being parodied by Mark's gospel?

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Beverly Devry-Smith
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is LXX Genesis being parodied by Mark's gospel?

Post by Beverly Devry-Smith » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:41 am

— in one his most bizarre borrowings, the author of the gospel of Mark both recalls and simultaneously rewrites the Sodom story, echoing LXX Genesis 19!=
(in bold is the text from Mark 8:22-26, with commentary)

[22] And he arrived at Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

-Mark 8:22b = the disciples “appealed” [παρακαλουσιν] to Jesus “that he should touch him” [ινα αψηται]
-Genesis 19:5 = the Sodomites “called forth” [εξεκαλουντο] Lot to bring out the handsome men visiting him “so that we can be intimate with them” [ινα συγγενωμεθα]
-Genesis 19:11 = Sodomites are “stricken with blindness” [επαταξαν εν αορασια] and “disabled” [παρελυθησαν] while “seeking” [ζητουντες] the door.
-Mark 8:22a they “bring to him a blind man” [ϕερουσιν αυτω τυϕλον]
-It is possible that Mark here is punning on ‘Pharisees’ [Φαρισαιοι] via the sound-alike word for “bring” [ϕερουσιν] or earlier at verse 11 the ‘testing’ [πειραζοντες]?

[23] And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw anything.

-Genesis 19:16 = Lot’s family are “disturbed” [εταραχθησαν] and the angels “held his hand” [εκρατησαν … τη χειρος αυτου] then in verse 17 “they led them outside” [εξηγαγον αυτους εξω] of town.
-Mark 8:23 on Jesus “taking hold of the hand [επιλαβομενος της χειρος] of the blind man, he led him outside” [εξηγαγον αυτον εξω] of town.

[24] And he looked up, and said, “I see men as trees, walking.”

-this appears to be an obscure reference to Jotham’s ‘parable’ at Judges 9, the only place in scripture where there are ‘trees going about’ in search of a king. After others reject the title, it is given to a thorn-bush, who warns the others at verse 15 that if they don’t ‘rely on his protection’ then fire will come forth from him to ‘devour the cedars of Lebanon!’ This makes it clear that it is YHWH who spoke out of a ‘burning thorn-bush’ in Exodus who is the true ‘monarch’ of Israel. Mark means for us to remember this when the centurions at chapter 15 ‘crown’ Jesus at his execution as ‘king of Jews’ with brambles from a ‘thorn-bush.’
-Zechariah 4:2 = an angel wakes up the prophet and asks: “What do you see?” [τι συ βλεπεις], a possible parallel to Mark 8:23b where Jesus asks what “did he see?” [ει τι βλεπει] Zechariah has imagery of “looking,” “eyes,” allegorical “trees,” and

[25] After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

-Genesis 19:17= an angel warns Lot’s family “Don’t look around [περιβλεψη] behind you [εις τα οπισω] nor stand in the adjacent vicinity.”
-Gene 46:4= God tells Jacob/Israel to “go down into Egypt” and promises using an odd colloquialism that his son will bury him: “Joseph will put his hands upon your eyes.” [επιβαλει τας χειρας αυτου επι τους οϕθαλμους σου]
-Mark 8:25a= “placed his hands on his eyes” [επεθηκε τας χειρας επι τους οϕθαλμους αυτου]
-Numbers 27:23= when Moses ordains Joshua ben Nun as his successor, he does similarly, “placing his hands” [επεθηκε τας χειρας αυτου επ’ αυτον] on him in the sight of Eleazar and the congregation.

[26] And he sent him away to his house, saying, “Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”

-Mark 8:26 Jesus warns the blind man he’s just healed: “Don’t enter the town!” = is this intertextual residue? (i.e. because like Sodom in Genesis 19:13-14 it would be destroyed?) Likewise, Lot tells the angel(s) rescuing him that he fears to go to Zoar due to the fire from heaven, but instead wants to hide in a cave.
-in his usual, inexplicable, mirroring technique, Mark echoes this sentence at the beginning of chapter 11, see how=
-Mark 8:26 = Jesus says: “Don’t go into the town [εις την κωμην] or say (anything) to anyone [ειπης τινι]...”
-Mark 11:2-3 = Jesus says: “Go into the town [εις την κωμην] ... and should anyone [τις] say [ειπη] to you...”
-note also how in chapter 11 Jesus sends the 2 and they are described as entering, while in chapter 8 the blind man is sent back to his home and counseled ‘Do not enter.’


I am unaware of anyone else pointing this instance out in the secondary literature. I have found that every single pericope of Mark seems to recall the LXX and rewrite it.
Can anyone recommend the most concise or useful literature on this kind of literary borrowing? Hopefully sans the tiresome apologetics that intend only to erase or ignore this process due to some outdated doctrinal reasons...
Is there a catalogue of the suspected uses in the NT. I have found some of Paul but not the gospels!

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Re: is LXX Genesis being parodied by Mark's gospel?

Post by arnoldo » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:23 pm

Beverly Devry-Smith wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:41 am
-Mark 8:22a they “bring to him a blind man” [ϕερουσιν αυτω τυϕλον]
-It is possible that Mark here is punning on ‘Pharisees’ [Φαρισαιοι] via the sound-alike word for “bring” [ϕερουσιν] or earlier at verse 11 the ‘testing’ [πειραζοντες]? . .
Does the pun work in Greek, latin, aramaic or some other language?

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