A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark by Cameron Evan Ferguson, Routledge, London, March 2021

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Abstract

This volume presents a detailed case for the plausible literary dependence of the Gospel of Mark on select letters of the apostle Paul.

The book argues that Mark and Paul share a gospel narrative that tells the story of the life, death, resurrection, and second coming of Jesus Christ "in accordance with the scriptures," and it suggests that Mark presumed Paul and his mission to be constitutive episodes of that story. It contends that Mark self-consciously sought to anticipate the person, teachings, and mission of Paul by constructing narrative precursors concordant with the eventual teachings of the itinerant apostle, a process Ferguson labels Mark’s ‘etiological hermeneutic.’

The book focuses in particular on the various (re)presentations of Christ’s death that Paul believed occurred within his communities—Christ's death performed in ritual, prefigured in scripture, and embodied within Paul’s person—and it argues that these are all seeded within and anticipated by Mark’s narrative.   

Through careful argument and detailed analysis, A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark makes a substantial contribution to the ongoing debate about the dependence of Mark on Paul. It is key reading for any scholar engaged in that debate, and the insights it provides will be of interest to anyone studying the Synoptic Gospels or the epistles of Paul more generally.

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mon ... n-ferguson
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From the Preview PDF: pp.2-3 of the text proper ie. of Chapter 1

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Part I: Project overview

In his seminal article, “Mark—Interpreter of Paul,” Joel Marcus makes the programmatic assertion that Mark’s work is influenced by the thought of the apostle Paul. To demonstrate this, Marcus suggests a list of potential theological, Christological, and ecclesiological overlaps between the two authors, and he then analyzes the apostle’s and evangelist’s shared emphasis on the cross. Interestingly, despite Marcus’ provocative assertion, in his comprehensive Mark commentary—the first volume of which was published the same year as his article—only three short pages in his introduction discuss Mark’s potential familiarity with Paul, and an argument for dependence is never sustained. Moreover, Marcus nowhere claims that Mark had access to Paul’s letters.

My monograph will pursue what Marcus does not: a sustained case for the plausible literary dependence of the Gospel of Mark on select letters of the apostle Paul. I will suggest the historical possibility of Mark’s and his community’s knowledge of the person, teachings, and epistles of the apostle, and I will argue that Mark has self-consciously anticipated Paul and his mission within his story.

To state my thesis forthrightly: I contend that Mark adopts what I am calling an “etiological hermeneutic” vis-à-vis Paul. Mark’s story is a story of origins (see Mk. 1:1: “The beginning [ἀρχή] of the gospel [τοῦ εὐαγγελίου] of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”), one which establishes continuity between the earthly life of Jesus, the contemporary situation of the Markan community, and the final ending of the world (see Mk. 13). Between the life of Jesus and Mark’s historical moment, I presume that the evangelist knows that Paul is located, and I use “etiological” to suggest that one of Mark’s primary literary goals is to create, within his narrative of the earthly life of Jesus Christ, historical precedent for the mission and teachings of Paul that occur subsequently to the conclusion of his narrative but prior to his composition of it.

The evangelist’s goal is not to repeat that which Paul has said (that is, to lift Paul from his letters and throw him some thirty years back into the past), but rather to anticipate him. Mark seeks to seed the apostle and his teachings into his text.

Mark’s project is therefore both proleptic and synecdochical: he always presumes, though he does not narrate in full, the entirety of a salvation-historical narrative that extends from one end of historical time to the other (the “gospel” [εὐαγγέλιον], an episodic narrative he shares with Paul), and his purpose is to tell a story that anticipates and concordantly connects with episodes subsequent to his 16 chapters. Believing that the mission of Paul is a part of this narrative, Mark seeks to create logical and concordant episodic precursors that will bind the missionary activity of the earthly Christ to the eventual teachings of the itinerant apostle, teachings that are themselves carried on within Mark’s community.

Depending on the particular Pauline phenomena Mark seeks to seed into his story, his literary strategies may be adapted, but his etiological hermeneutic remains fundamentally the same.
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Chapter 1 | The relationship of Mark to Paul

Building upon the works of C. H. Dodd, Richard B. Hays, and Margaret M. Mitchell, it argues that Mark and Paul deploy a shared synecdochical poetics in relation to a shared gospel narrative. It then argues that their shared gospel narrative includes an all-important episode: the resurrection appearance of Jesus to Paul himself (1 Cor. 15:8). This results in Mark's adopting an “etiological hermeneutic” in relation to Paul and his mission. The evangelist's goal is to 'anticipate' Paul (not to repeat him), and Mark thus seeds Pauline theological ideas into his text. This chapter concludes with a brief case study arguing that Mark attempts to anticipate the epiphanic performance of the cross that occurs within Paul's body by showing that the miracles that Christ's body performs throughout the Gospel of Mark iconically and synecdochically manifest the salvation that the messiah has come to offer through his death upon the cross.

Chapter 2 | Baptism into death

This chapter argues that, for Paul, baptism is a synecdochical evocation of the entire gospel narrative through the retrospective performance by the believer of Christ's death and resurrection. Believers symbolically put themselves to death and proleptically anticipate their coming salvation on the pattern of the messiah (Rom. 6:3–8), and, as a result, they are transformed and incorporated into the communal body of Jesus Christ. The chapter then argues that Mark has taken the epiphanic and transformative experience of Pauline baptism and has seeded it into his story. All of the major significances Paul associates with the rite—death, sonship, Spirit (Rom. 6; Gal. 3:27–4:6)—are found in Mark's narrative, but they are also deliberately crafted to appear anterior to and anticipatory of Paul's teachings and reinforce the apostle's insistence on the patterning of believers’ lives on that of the messiah.

Chapter 3 | The body and the blood

This chapter argues that, for Paul, the Eucharist is both an episode of the gospel narrative (it occurs on the night “on which [Jesus] was handed over” [1 Cor. 11:23]) and a timeless memorial rite that epiphanically (re)presents the death of Jesus Christ for believers ... this chapter contends that Mark incorporates the episode into his story, but he also constructs his broader narrative such that Pauline Eucharistic significances are anticipated (namely, Paul's conviction that the Eucharist affirms one's incorporation into the universal body of Jesus Christ [see 1 Cor. 10:16–17]). Mark thus self-consciously composes feeding miracles wherein the bread that is given to thousands (both Jews [Mk. 6:30–44] and Gentiles [Mk. 8:1–9]) evokes the language of the Last Supper, and, in so doing, the evangelist seeks to confirm that, when Christ believers consume that body in subsequent ritualized contexts, they are acknowledging and affirming the universal and unified community into which they have entered through Jesus’ death upon the cross.

Chapter 4| Death “in accordance with the Scriptures”

Throughout his letters, Paul presumes scriptural prophecies about, or typological prefigurations of, Jesus’ death. This chapter analyzes three scriptural prefigurations of Jesus’ death shared by Mark and Paul: the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, the binding of Isaac at Genesis 22, and the slaughter of the Paschal lamb at Exodus 12. It argues that these passages would have been performed in Paul's and Mark's communities, and, because they would have been read through the lens of the Christ event, they would synecdochically evoke the entirety of the gospel narrative of which they form a part. The chapter then argues that Mark attempts to show how these prefigurations are fulfilled within the person of Jesus, while, at the same time, affirming the significances Paul has attached to them for his believing communities. Mark's claim, like Paul's, is thus that the sacrifice presented in these scriptural types, when fulfilled within Jesus (their antitype) unlocks the mission to the Gentile nations and results in a new and universal access to deliverance.

Chapter 5 | Conclusion

This chapter concludes the monograph. It rearticulates its thesis, and it briefly summarizes the various conclusions of the individual chapters. It then seeks to demonstrate the utility of an “etiological” approach in analyzing additional overlaps between the Gospel of Mark and the letters of Paul. It thus presents a final case study wherein the negative characterization of the disciples in Mark is analyzed, and it suggests that the evangelist has sought to anticipate Paul be suggesting that what truly “makes” an apostle is a resurrection appearance (1 Cor. 9:1; Gal. 1:1). Any claim to authority based upon familiarity with the earthly Christ is irrelevant, as those who knew the earthly Christ never understood him. Mark has, in other words, sought to level the apostolic playing field and set Paul upon an equal footing with the other apostles.

https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mon ... n-ferguson

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Re: A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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... In lieu of a comprehensive Forschungsbericht that situates the question of Mark’s dependence on Paul within its modern historical context, I will offer a brief overview of the works of Gustav Volkmar and Martin Werner, two exegetes whose now-classic arguments have set the terms of the debate surrounding Mark’s Paulinism for over a century, and I will summarize their exegetical legacies ... [p.3]

Part III: Gustav Volkmar and Martin Werner—settling the question?

... To understand Volkmar, one must recognize that, as the last great member of the Tübingen School, he was indebted to F. C. Baur’s famous Tendenzkritic and his conviction that much of early Christian literature could be explained on the basis of the conflict(s) between a Petrine “Jewish Christianity” and a Pauline “Gentile Christianity.” Volkmar’s particular contribution was to argue that that conflict began in earnest with the Book of Revelation. He understood this text to be a challenge to Pauline Christianity and its message of salvation for all, and he considered the Gospel of Mark to be its direct, literary rebuttal.

At the same time, Volkmar was a committed Protestant, and his project had an overtly theological tone. For him, the gospel narratives were allegorical (German: “sinnbildlich”) models of the “one gospel” (“des Einen Evangeliums”) of Jesus Christ and his apostle, Paul. During the first two centuries, prior to the imposition of Catholic traditionalism, Volkmar assumed that early Christian authors were well aware of the true didactic content (“Lehrgehalt”) of the gospel stories; indeed, they were able to modernize while simultaneously remaining true to that content.

But, as time passed, this didactic material was [according to Volmar] buried, and the gospels increasingly came to be recognized as “historical narratives” (“Geschichts-Erzählung”) penned by the hands of the apostles themselves, or, in the case of Mark, by an apostle’s amanuensis. Thus, they ceased to be primarily allegorical or figural and instead became historical. An awareness of the underlying spiritual sense (“geistigen Sinn”) implicitly persisted alongside this external conception (“äusserlichen Auffassung”), however, and, with the coming of the Protestant reformers, the spiritual sense of the gospels was elevated to the surface once more. Volkmar viewed his own project as contiguous with his Reformation predecessors: he sought to provide a means by which the gap between reason-based historical criticism and spirit-driven didactics could be bridged, and, in the process, the teachings of Protestant Christianity vindicated.

For Volkmar, then, the Gospel of Mark is not properly a “history.” Rather, it is a “self-conscious didactic-poetic composition [Lehr-Poesie] on historical ground.” He explains,
  • [Mark’s] whole work is an apology for the apostle to the Gentiles [eine Apologie des Heidenapostels], a defense [Vertheidigung] for the legitimacy [Rechtes] of the community of Gentiles in the name of Jesus Christ and the Old Testament, which is, through him, fulfilled and surpassed [erfüllt und übertreffen sei] …. Indeed, throughout the whole gospel the life of Jesus, as also the life, work, and suffering of Paul, is in view [durch das ganze Ev. hin ist das Leben Jesu, wie das Leben, Wirken, und Leiden Pauli mit im Auge].
Mark’s primary concern was to portray Christ as Paul’s revealed and ascended Son of God. Thus, the historical traditions standing behind the narrative were transformed by the evangelist into allegories that (re)present the theological convictions and experiences of Paul. Anne Vig Skoven helpfully summarizes Volkmar’s project as follows:
  • Mark’s Gospel is to be seen as an odyssey in which the reader travels with the historical Jesus, with the Apostle Paul and with the risen Christ (or the Christ-Spirit) …. Volkmar regards the Markan Jesus as a literary character who is based upon several literary and historical figures—including, of course, [an] historical Jesus. However, when speaking of Christ, the author often has Paul in mind. Apparently, Mark has projected Paul and his Gentile mission—as we know it from Paul’s letters and the Acts of the Apostles—back into Jesus’ life.
On Volkmar’s reading, Mark’s layering of narratives necessitates the careful delineation of complex and ubiquitous external referents to what he believed were various Markan symbols. For example, in his discussion of Mk. 9:33–50, which Volkmar takes to be superlative proof of Mark’s Paulinism, the German scholar asserts that the foreign exorcist must be a symbol for Paul on the basis of the following exegetical inferences:
  1. the disciples’ question 'who is greater?' (τίς μείζων [Mk. 9:34]) refers not to an internal dispute but an external one (the disciples are judging themselves over and against outsiders);
  2. the 'child' (παιδίον [Mk. 9:36]) that Jesus embraces stands as a symbol for the Gentiles who bear Christ’s name (ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματί μου [Mk. 9:37]); &
  3. the exorcist is opposed by none other than John (Mk. 9:38), the author of the Book of Revelation [who is] Paul’s greatest opponent.
On the basis of these three speculative observations, Volkmar claims that Mk. 9:33–50 is written in support of Paul and warns about the dangers of excluding Gentile converts from the early Christian mission.
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Re: A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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Part IV: Joel Marcus—reopening the question

No scholar has done more to reinvigorate the question of Mark’s Paulinism than Joel Marcus. His essay, “Mark—Interpreter of Paul,” is now generally accepted as the catalyst for a new investigation into the relationship between the two authors. Recognizing the great challenge posed by Werner’s assertion that a common tradition stands behind the evangelist and apostle, Marcus attempts to refute Werner’s claim by comparing Mark with idiosyncratic or characteristically Pauline teachings.

According to Marcus, the strongest case for establishing Mark’s dependence on the apostle is made by demonstrating that the evangelist agrees with the apostle at points where others on the early Christian landscape would not, and he suggests that fruitful areas of potential investigation include Paul’s theological use of the term “gospel” (εὐαγγέλιον), his insistence on the crucifixion as the apocalyptic turning point of the ages, his negative portrayal of the pillar apostles, his dualistic understanding of “faith,” his insistence on the priority of the Jews (Ἰουδαίῳ πρῶτον [Rom. 1:16]), his apocalyptic reformulation of the law, his emphasis on the “ungodly sinners,” Christ’s victory over the demonic in death, and Christ as a “new Adam,” all of which Marcus suggests are (re)presented within Mark’s narrative.

For the purposes of his article, Marcus focuses narrowly on how Paul and Mark understand the cross. Marcus...demonstrates that Mark and Paul share a belief that the death of Christ is the turning point of the ages, and it necessitates the adoption of a new epistemology that sees God’s eschatological power and glory displayed in the form of human flesh and weakness. Because there is evidence within Paul’s letters that these beliefs were not, in fact, universally accepted at the time of the earliest mission, Marcus suggests that Werner’s argument for a common tradition standing behind the two authors cannot be sustained.

... I contend that Mark’s literary purpose in integrating Pauline theology into his narrative is consistent and methodologically predictable: Mark looks to establish literary continuity between the missions of Christ and Paul, both of which form a part of the same gospel narrative that the evangelist and apostle share. Mark thus tells a story that is self-consciously crafted to anticipate episodes of the gospel that occur subsequently to his 16 chapters, within which Paul and his mission must be included.

Importantly, I am not suggesting that Mark’s project functions solely to anticipate Paul. An etiological approach to the mission and teachings of the apostle is, rather, an aspect of a much grander literary endeavor.

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Marcus, Joel, “Mark—Interpreter of Paul,” New Testament Studies 46 (2000) 473–87.
References to and citations of Marcus’ article are taken from its updated publication, “Mark—Interpreter of Paul” pp.29–49 in Mark and Paul: Comparative Essays Part II, For and Against Pauline Influence on Mark, edited by Eve-Marie Becker, Troels Engberg-Pedersen, and Mogens Müller. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 199. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017
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Re: A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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Thanks for this.
This is one of my favorite subject and i plan to read the Ferguson Book.
I want to buy this one too : https://www.mohrsiebeck.com/en/book/mar ... no_cache=1
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Re: A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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Sinouhe wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 11:12 pm Thanks for this.
This is one of my favorite subject and i plan to read the Ferguson Book.
I want to buy this one too : https://www.mohrsiebeck.com/en/book/mar ... no_cache=1
Wow, Díaz's book looks interesting.

There's now quite a mini-Library for Mark's use of or dependence on Paul

For posterity

Michael Bird & Joel Willitts, Paul and the Gospels: Christologies, Conflicts and Convergences, T&T Clark, 2011

David Oliver Smith, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul: The Influence of the Epistles on the Synoptic Gospels, Resource, 2011

Tom Dykstra, Mark: Canonizer of Paul, OCABS 2012

Oda Wischmeyer & David Sim, eds., Paul and Mark: Two Authors at the Beginnings of Christianity, de Gruyter, 2014

Eve-Marie Becker et al., Mark and Paul: For and Against Pauline Influence on Mark, de Gruyter, 2014

Thomas Nelligan, The Quest for Mark’s Sources: An Exploration of the Case for Mark’s Use of First Corinthians, Pickwick, 2015

Eve-Marie Becker, Troels Engberg-Pedersen and Mogens Mueller, eds., Mark and Paul: Comparative Essays Part II. For and Against Pauline Influence on Mark, 2017

R.G. Price, Deciphering the Gospels, Lulu Publishing, 2018

Mar Pérez i Díaz, Mark, a Pauline Theologian, Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, 2020

Cameron Evan Ferguson, A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark, Routledge, London, March 2021

(I think there's some from before 2010, too)
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Re: A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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MrMacSon wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 12:54 am
Sinouhe wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 11:12 pm Thanks for this.
This is one of my favorite subject and i plan to read the Ferguson Book.
I want to buy this one too : https://www.mohrsiebeck.com/en/book/mar ... no_cache=1
Wow, Díaz's book looks interesting.

There's now quite a mini-Library for Mark's use of or dependence on Paul

For posterity

Michael Bird & Joel Willitts, Paul and the Gospels: Christologies, Conflicts and Convergences, T&T Clark, 2011

David Oliver Smith, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Paul: The Influence of the Epistles on the Synoptic Gospels, Resource, 2011

Tom Dykstra, Mark: Canonizer of Paul, OCABS 2012

Oda Wischmeyer & David Sim, eds., Paul and Mark: Two Authors at the Beginnings of Christianity, de Gruyter, 2014

Eve-Marie Becker et al., Mark and Paul: For and Against Pauline Influence on Mark, de Gruyter, 2014

Thomas Nelligan, The Quest for Mark’s Sources: An Exploration of the Case for Mark’s Use of First Corinthians, Pickwick, 2015

Eve-Marie Becker, Troels Engberg-Pedersen and Mogens Mueller, eds., Mark and Paul: Comparative Essays Part II. For and Against Pauline Influence on Mark, 2017

R.G. Price, Deciphering the Gospels, Lulu Publishing, 2018

Mar Pérez i Díaz, Mark, a Pauline Theologian, Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, 2020

Cameron Evan Ferguson, A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark, Routledge, London, March 2021

(I think there's some from before 2010, too)
I read all of them except Ferguson, Diaz and Paul and the Gospels. Did you read this one ? (Paul & the gospels ?)

For Diaz, i read somewhere that it was the best book on the subject
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Re: A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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Sinouhe wrote: Thu May 19, 2022 1:11 am Did you read this one ? (Paul & the gospels ?)
I've read excerpts. I take the subject as a given and at present I'm reading other subjects.
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Re: A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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True, but this is a subject strangely sidelined in the studies of the historical Jesus.

Another taboo subject :roll:
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Re: A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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This volume by Dr. Mar Pérez i Díaz (Facultat de Teologia de Catalunya) continues the conversation first begun by Martin Werner in 1923 about the possibility of Pauline influence upon the Gospel of Mark. Díaz believes that “Mark was strongly and comprehensively influenced by Paul’s theology” to the point that “the Gospel of Mark is a rereading of the traditions of Jesus inspired by Pauline theology as we know it from Paul’s letters” (245). Importantly, in her estimation, “Mark does not want to present Paul, but rather to interpret Jesus through a Pauline lens” (5).

In the first chapter, Díaz offers a cogent study of the history of research on the Paul-Mark question including those who deny Paulinisms in Mark, those who advocate Paulinisms in Mark, those who reluctantly favor Paulinisms in Mark, and those who defend both Petrine and Pauline influence in Mark. Díaz clearly aligns herself with the second position with authors such as C. Clifton Black and Joel Marcus.

The second chapter is concerned with mapping Mark’s narrative and structure as well as identifying the key theme of the cross. Díaz believes that Mark “has the mystery of the cross as its guiding axis” (44) and the “cross of Jesus is essentially directed against all religious illusion and brings man to recognise his own humanity” (43). Thus, Mark, just like Paul, is driven by a crucicentric narrative.

The third chapter, by far the largest, is concerned with detecting various Paulinism in Mark as related to various topics: (1) Usage of euangelion; (2) The misunderstanding of those around Jesus such as family and disciples; (3) The topic of the law; (4) the feeding miracle and eucharist; (5) mission to pagans; (6) opposition to the temple; (7) relationship to Roman power; (8) focus on passion and resurrection; and (9) disposition towards female disciples.

The fourth chapter compares the christologies of Paul and Mark. Díaz rightly rejects “divine man” and “corrective” christologies in Mark, preferring to see a shared christology rooted in Israel’s scriptures whereby Jesus is presented as “the one who is the fulness and fulfilment of the Scriptures, reinterpreting it in a radically new way from the perspective of the cross” (243). For Díaz, “Mark does not present a completed Christology of Jesus, but offers an image in process, in continuous elaboration, made up of opposing situations and elements that challenges readers who try to discover who Jesus of Nazareth is” (252).

The book has several strengths, first, I say with some degree of envy, is that Díaz is conversant with a wide range of secondary literature in English, German, French, and Spanish. The breadth of secondary reading is truly extraordinary. The volume is an excellent Forschungsgeschichte on the Paul and Mark question and is a useful follow-up to the two multi-author volumes Paul and Mark and Mark and Paul published in the BZNW series in 2014. Second, Díaz has certainly left no rock unturned when it comes to finding potential parity or even dependence of Mark upon Pauline thought. I thought the book paved some new ground on topics like the positiveness that Paul and Mark share about female disciples of Jesus (178-90). Overall Díaz constructs a fairly compelling comparative study of Mark’s Gospel and Paul’s undisputed letters to show both confluence and even influence between them.

Although I for one support Mark’s re-working of (Petrine) Jesus traditions in light of Pauline thought, nonetheless, Díaz is more persuasive in some areas than others.

First, the initial problem is that we cannot be certain which themes or motifs that Mark inherits from wider tradition and which ones are imbibed specifically from Paul. Paul may not have been quite as unique or distinctive as we imagine. Although it is quite possible that Paul was the first one to apply the terminology of euangelion to the preaching about Jesus (see Joshua Garroway, The Beginning of the Gospel), the presence of “gospel” language in Herodian Judea and its use in unPauline Christian texts like Matthew and Revelation makes one wonder if euangelion is really a Pauline theologoumena. Paul can also talk about euangelion to the Roman congregations, which were not directly connected to his apostolic authority and mission, yet he expects them to know what he is talking about. Hence the problem: how much of Paul’s thought and practice was shared with other Christians? Similarly, Paul was not the only Christ-believer who had a resolute focus on the cross, such a concern is found in the anti/un-Pauline Gospels of Matthew, John, the Ascension of Isaiah, and Epistle of Barnabas. What is more, Luke, for whom Paul is a clear hero, casts Paul as more a preacher of Christ’s resurrection and ascension than the cross – so the cross is not a useful metric for Pauline affinity. In addition, reconfiguring the Jewish and Gentile relations within the ecclesia may have preceded Paul among Greek-speaking Christ-believers as it is certainly a prominent point for Luke and Matthew. For Díaz’s thesis to be truly unconvincing, she needed to demonstrate what is uniquely and inimitably Pauline and then apply it to Mark’s Gospel.

Second, my biggest criticism is how Díaz projects a rigorous Law vs. Gospel antithesis into Paul and by implication into Mark. One does not have to buy the entire package of “Paul within Judaism” to find some of her statements remarkably over-generalized and deeply problematic. Díaz regards the Marcan Jesus freeing disciples from “formalistic constraints” (88), he “abolishes the Sabbath,” declares that “Man should not be a Sabbath slave,” and rules out “the Sabbath as a possible way of salvation” (89). Mark and Paul allegedly reject “the Law as the way of salvation” (92) since “having the Law as the way of salvation, man would claim to be obedient to God and ultimately gain his favour by his own works” (93). Díaz is aware of some varied perspectives about Jesus, Paul, and purity when discussing Mk 7:15-19 and Rom 14:14 (96-112), however, I suspect that her construction of Jewish legalism would not be convincing to most scholars of legal traditions in ancient Judaism, the historical Jesus, or the apostle Paul.

Those criticisms aside, Díaz has written an excellent book on one of those persistent intra-canonical questions, i.e., Pauline influence upon the Gospel of Mark. While Díaz may not be right in every detail, I suspect she is correct overall: Paul influenced Mark to some degree or other.

https://michaelfbird.substack.com/p/did ... ce-the?s=r
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Re: A New Perspective on the Use of Paul in the Gospel of Mark

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I just skimmed this, so sorry if it is an ignorant question. But here goes.

Could this line of research suggest (or even "prove") something that I'm suspecting: That the author of Mark and his actual/intended readers were reading and rereading Paul's letters as scripture? And so also, that the Gospel of Mark was composed as a kind of companion volume to Paul's epistles, especially Galatians and 1 and 2 Corinthians which mention the lives of the 12 and James the Lord's brother?
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