Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

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Peter Kirby
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

Post by Peter Kirby »

Giuseppe wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:00 pm
Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:45 amone way to read this reply from Jesus is: “I am [the Son of God], and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” If this is how we read the passage, then Jesus is affirming (only) that he is the Son of God.

The charge of blasphemy is responding to the claim of Jesus to be the Son of God and seated at the right hand of Power. There would be, presumably, no charge of blasphemy just for the claim of being the Christ. This is consistent with a reading of the Gospel of Mark according to which Jesus did not claim to be the Christ.

It's possible that they misunderstood the answer. They deliver Jesus to Pilate, with the implication that they told Pilate that he claimed to be the king of the Jews (Mark 15:2), which is to say, the Christ
I don't think that you are addressing very well the following objection:
rgprice wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:35 pm For all of the vagary throughout the rest of the story, it seems pretty cut and dry here. "Are you the Christos?" "Yes I am."

So I don't know how one can deal with this passage and argue that Jesus was not really the Christos.
...since it is too much obvious that the answer "I am" is to both the titles (Christ and son of god).
No, it isn't.

See, we can both play this game.
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

Post by Peter Kirby »

There's a difference, though. I'm actually right here.

It's easy for you to argue that your interpretation of Mark's original intent is likely to be correct. I agree.

It's almost impossible for you to argue that the OP's interpretation of Mark would not be plausible to an ancient reader of the text, especially when you can see that others find it to be plausible, even when applying a somewhat dry and literal perspective. This is far from the most exotic interpretation of the gospels. It doesn't even rank.

I don't need this interpretation to be true to the author of Mark. It only has to be plausible for someone. If you understand what I'm saying, and if you still try to argue against it, you are left arguing that I (and not only I) find it plausible, but that nobody in the second century would have agreed with me. While that position is hypothetically possible - that I have invented a reading that nobody back then could have considered - it's almost certainly wrong.
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

Post by Giuseppe »

Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:08 pm
Giuseppe wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:00 pm
Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:45 amone way to read this reply from Jesus is: “I am [the Son of God], and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” If this is how we read the passage, then Jesus is affirming (only) that he is the Son of God.

The charge of blasphemy is responding to the claim of Jesus to be the Son of God and seated at the right hand of Power. There would be, presumably, no charge of blasphemy just for the claim of being the Christ. This is consistent with a reading of the Gospel of Mark according to which Jesus did not claim to be the Christ.

It's possible that they misunderstood the answer. They deliver Jesus to Pilate, with the implication that they told Pilate that he claimed to be the king of the Jews (Mark 15:2), which is to say, the Christ
I don't think that you are addressing very well the following objection:
rgprice wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:35 pm For all of the vagary throughout the rest of the story, it seems pretty cut and dry here. "Are you the Christos?" "Yes I am."

So I don't know how one can deal with this passage and argue that Jesus was not really the Christos.
...since it is too much obvious that the answer "I am" is to both the titles (Christ and son of god).
No, it isn't.

See, we can both play this game.
Two arguments go against your denial of the obvious:

The Argument from Moral Monster: the hypothesis that Jesus answers "I am" only to "Son of God" despite of the precedence of "Christ" over "Son of God" in the question makes Jesus a cynical person, a moral monster, unworthy of the deity.

The Argument from other examples of real ambiguity: the answer "tu dices" is really ambiguous, since it can assume easily "ego non". Or see John 8:48-49 as a good example of ambiguity.

Thank you to make me even more persuaded that *Ev precedes Mark.
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

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Giuseppe wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:20 pm Two arguments go against your denial of the obvious:

The Argument from Moral Monster: the hypothesis that Jesus answers "I am" only to "Son of God" despite of the precedence of "Christ" over "Son of God" in the question makes Jesus a cynical person, a moral monster, unworthy of the deity.
No, that's your argument. It's not my argument. I reject that argument, as could anybody else.
Giuseppe wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:20 pm The Argument from other examples of real ambiguity: the answer "tu dices" is really ambiguous, since it can assume easily "ego non". Or see John 8:48-49 as a good example of ambiguity.
Again, no. That is your argument. It is not my argument. I reject that argument, as could anybody else.

Both of these arguments fall under the heading of subtle readings of the text.

If your subtle readings are convincing to you, certainly also the subtle readings of others are also convincing to them.
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

Post by Peter Kirby »

I should perhaps comment, briefly, on why I wrote the OP.

It wasn't just to argue that the reading could have been found by ancient readers in the text, although that was one reason. In many ways, that is just too easy. If I wanted to do only that, it could have been a shorter post.

It was primarily to explore how they could have read Mark this way, from the perspective that Jesus is not the Christ.

The interesting bits are not the bare fact (which is hard to deny) of the possibility of the interpretation. It's how it could have taken place. As I wrote in the OP, this has not yet been extended to look at "intertextuality," at the texts other than Mark, that may shed further light on the subject. Studying Mark, at first in isolation this way, can also help inform the interpretation of other texts, possibly containing the traces of people who could have read the text in such a way, or reactions to them. Of course, we might not find such connections. But it's worthwhile to have a starting point on which to base that further investigation.
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

Post by Giuseppe »

Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:23 pm Both of these arguments fall under the heading of subtle readings of the text.
that Mark 1-13 (minus the incipit and the stupid Parable of the Vineyard) denies the messianic status is not a subtle reading. It is simply the obvious reading. It doesn't require a great subtlety.

Once the "subtle readings" are allowed in Mark, the only conclusion left is that Mark is a black box, not different from what is the Gospel of Thomas under the Absolute Thomasine Priority.
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

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Giuseppe wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:40 pm
Peter Kirby wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:23 pm Both of these arguments fall under the heading of subtle readings of the text.
that Mark 1-13 (minus the incipit and the stupid Parable of the Vineyard) denies the messianic status is not a subtle reading. It is simply the obvious reading. It doesn't require a great subtlety.
I don't even understand what you're saying here (honestly), so yeah, what you're saying is subtle enough.
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

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Giuseppe wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:40 pm Once the "subtle readings" are allowed in Mark
You can't complain about that, not without hypocrisy. You're introducing several yourself.
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

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Giuseppe wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:40 pm that Mark is a black box
No, just no. Try reading what I'm writing.

If we're talking about the original intent of Mark, that's a separate (related, but separate) discussion.
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Re: Jesus is not the Christ: A Reading of Mark

Post by Giuseppe »

My point is that your first post in this thread lists a lot of good points (supporting the interpretation that Jesus is not the Christ) that can't be considered "subtle readings", so much they are logical points.

While when you deal with the examples derived from the Passion Story in order to continue to support the same interpretation (that Jesus is not the Christ) your readings become by need "subtle readings", i.e. "effect black box", valid only for you but not for all.
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