The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
rgprice
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The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by rgprice »

It would seem to me that Marcion or any of the Gnostics would have had nothing to do with Satan, that Satan or the devil wouldn't have been mentioned in Marcion's Gospel. Be Duhn has Satan appearing in two passages in the Evangelion.

Under the system of Marcion and Gnostics, the god of the Jews was the "lord of this world".

Under the system of those at Qumran, Belial/Satan was the "lord of this world".

Matthew and Luke also imply that Satan is the "lord of this world".

Luke 4:
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Matthew 4:
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

These scenes are apparently absent from Evangelion.

But what about Mark? Mark simply has:

Mark 1:
12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.

Are the scenes in Matthew and Luke expansions upon Mark, or is Mark a shortened summary of what we find in Matthew and Luke?

It seems more and more to me that the temptation scene from Matthew and Luke is original. Both Matthew and Luke say that the devil took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem and told him to throw himself down. Mark doesn't want this detour, so as a result, he truncates the scene.

But the scene is important for establishing the fact that the devil is the "lord of this world". This is never truly established in canonical Mark.

But, this scene wasn't in Marcion's Gospel either. Does this imply that there was another predecessor Gospel that came before Mark or Marcion, in which this scene was present, and that Matthew, Luke and canonical Mark are derived from that Gospel?

There has never been a reasonable explanation for the similarity between the temptations scenes in Matthew and Luke. The most reasonable seems to be the one championed by Goodacre, that Luke is derived from Matthew, but that has many other problems.
Charles Wilson
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Re: The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by Charles Wilson »

rgp --

Most of this is hidden fairly well but there is a good Clue here:

Matthew 4: 3 - 4 (RSV):

[3] And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."
[4] But he answered, "It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"

Compare with the slightly less opaque

Matthew 7: 7 -14 (RSV):

[7] "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
[8] For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
[9] Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
[10] Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
[11] If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
[12] So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
[13] "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
[14] For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

This is a Herod Story, a Story of the building of the Safe Harbor at Caesarea. Herod lays down giant millstones (Aramaic - "Millstones-of-a-Donkey"). There is a fierce famine in Judea and Herod hands out free food from the grain he gets from Egypt . Thus:

[9] Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
[10] Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?


Lotsa' jokes and this is reflected in the speech by the Priest in Matthew 4 - 4. The Priests were worried that Herod would be able to bribe the populace with food and they were correct.

Note: Gotta leave this as is for now but I'll return to this another time soon.

CW
Charles Wilson
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Re: The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by Charles Wilson »

Quick note as I pass the computer:

The Story in Matthew of Herod and the Safe Harbor at Caesarea is found in Josephus.
I believe that it is plausible that the genealogy found in Matthew can be traced to Nicholas of Damascus preparing a fake genealogy for Herod's father Antipater. This is also found in Josephus.

The correlates in Luke do not appear to come from Josephus.
Let other Skollers more learned than I figure out why this is but it is a difference between Matthew and Luke.

CW
rgprice
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Re: The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by rgprice »

My point is that Mark 1:12-13 looks like an attenuated summary of Matthew 4:1-11. And the temptation scene is also in Luke, but was not in the Evangelion.

Does Mark's simple statement really make sense? I don't think so. Why would that simple statement exist in Mark if Mark's narrative were the original?

Secondly, Mark's narrative, unlike the one in Matthew and Luke, doesn't establish that the devil is the "lord of this world".

The passage in Mark looks like a simple hand waving over the longer scene in Matthew.

Thus I suspect that the longer passage is original, and retained in Matthew & Luke. But it wasn't in the Evangelion, which means that Matthew and Luke weren't constructed from the Evangelion, as I had suspected, but rather they were constructed from some Gospel that preceded the Evangelion.

What I suspect is that the differences between Luke 3-5 and the Evangelion are due to the fact that the Evangelion is derived from the same source that Luke used, but revised to remove the genealogy, etc.

But why does canonical Mark have a shortened passage? It doesn't seem like something an editor would do -- to make Mark less like the other two, so it would seem that the truncation would have been made by someone other than the final editor of the canonical version.

But did proto-Mark contain the longer scene, as reflected in Matthew/Luke?

The difficulty is the fact that the scene says that the devil took Jesus to the Temple. Luke contains a somewhat odd rejoinder to the problem saying, "14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit..."

So, the devil takes Jesus to the Temple, tells him to throw himself off, and then Jesus is whisked back to Galilee. A bit of a stretch.

A similar situation arises about John:

Mark 1:
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

This seems awfully short and uninformative.

Luke is much more informative, stating:

Luke 3:
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.

19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.

This explains why John was imprisoned.

So it seems to me that what we get in canonical Mark is an attenuated summary of the narrative that we find in Luke regarding the temptation by the devil and the arrest of John. Both points have so little explanatory detail in Mark that its difficult to believe that someone writing an original story would simply leave it at that, thus indicating that they aren't the original versions of the narrative, but rather a later editing of the narrative, thus indicating that, at least in this section, Luke preserves an older version of the narrative than Mark.
Paul the Uncertain
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Re: The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

rgprice wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:52 pm My point is that Mark 1:12-13 looks like an attenuated summary of Matthew 4:1-11. And the temptation scene is also in Luke, but was not in the Evangelion.
Just a few notes over morning coffee.

First, we're talking about four words in Greek that may have been glossed in after gMark had been launched. The phrase passes the usual screen for interpolation in that the surrounding passage makes sense without it. Also, many people feel that the material in 16:9-14 was added later and that at least one piece of it, the road to Emmaus, is a brief summary of a story told at greater length in gLuke. So, interpolation might be respectable by analogy to that well-respected case. I do not advocate any of that, but it is worth noting before devoting too much sweat to a phrase that may not be authentic.

Assuming authenticity, then:
Does Mark's simple statement really make sense? I don't think so. Why would that simple statement exist in Mark if Mark's narrative were the original?
It'd make sense as a forward (something that cues the audience to anticipate some action to come). Mark's Jesus has a lot of interaction with Satan's minions, and eventually is accused of collaboration with Team Evil. The very fact that you, as audience, are moved to wonder "Why did the narrator say that?" is suspicious of forwarding. That's how the device works.

You only have to wait 10 verses for Jesus's first encounter with a minion of Satan. By its nature, a forward is much shorter and far less detailed than what it points to. For example, 3:19a, "and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him," forwards action that plays out throughout most of chapter 14.
Secondly, Mark's narrative, unlike the one in Matthew and Luke, doesn't establish that the devil is the "lord of this world".
...
Perhaps Mark doesn't believe that, or prefers to convey other things during the limited time that an audience will grant him.

A similar situation arises about John:

Mark 1:
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

This seems awfully short and uninformative.

Luke is much more informative, stating:

...

This explains why John was imprisoned.
Mark explains why John was arrested at 6:17 ff. As to 1:14-15, what strikes one observer as "short and uninformative" might strike another as admirably compact: the progress of Jesus's career is yoked to that of John's, the audience is told that John is in serious trouble (another forward, of course, there's more to come about John), and the theme of Jesus's initial teaching is announced.

Just my view. You did ask :P
schillingklaus
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Re: The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by schillingklaus »

Satan replaces here YHWH in a pre-Christian gnostic version. In the OT, YHWH promised Israel a special destiny in turn for worshipping him exclusively and keeping his commands.

There is no such thing as Satan in Qumran.
ABuddhist
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Re: The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by ABuddhist »

rgprice wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:52 pm The passage in Mark looks like a simple hand waving over the longer scene in Matthew.
Or the later author(s) could have been inspired by it to create the temptation scene. A similar thing seems to have happened with the Last Supper, which was based upon Paul's allegations but was expanded by later authors.
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Sinouhe
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Re: The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by Sinouhe »

Matthew's desert scene seems to be an extension of Mark's. Not a primitive version.

Mark uses the story of Elijah in the desert which is itself based on the story of Moses in the desert (Exodus 34:28). Matthew certainly knows these two references but wanting to present Jesus as the new Moses, he mentions that Jesus ate after the 40 days, as Moses. In Elijah and Mark, both prophets are fed by angels during the 40 days.

Then Jesus being carried into heaven and taken to the top of the temple in Matthew seems to be inspired by the visions of Ezekiel. If Mark knew this story, he would certainly have included it in his gospel since he also uses Ezekiel a lot.

Moreover, the account of the duel between Jesus and the devil in Mt interrupts Mark's dependence on chapter 19 of the first book of Kings:

1/ Jesus 40 days in the desert (Mark 1:12-13) = Elijah 40 days in the desert (1 Kings 19:4-8)
2/ Jesus recruits his first disciples (Mark 1:16-20) = Elijah recruits Elisha (1 Kings 19:19-21)

To return to the fact that Matthew uses Mark's narrative in the desert while adding details, we have a bit the same pattern with the passion in Mark and Mt :

1/ Mark builds his story from psalm 22.
2/ Matthew uses Mark and knows the reference to this psalm. He adopt the allusions and citation to Psalm 22 in Mark but he also adds a citation for this psalm (not include in Mark) and he strengthens another existing one.
3/ Then in the conclusion of the passion, also taken from Mark, he adds an earthquake and the resurrection of the dead, a story also built on Ezekiel but missing in Mark.
Kunigunde Kreuzerin
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Re: The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by Kunigunde Kreuzerin »

rgprice wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:52 pm Does Mark's simple statement really make sense? I don't think so. Why would that simple statement exist in Mark if Mark's narrative were the original?
We once discussed whether Mark 1:12-13 is a summary of Jesus' mission in GMark. If such an interpretation is correct, then (one or) the devil's temptation would be that Peter proclaims Jesus as the Christ (in the sense of an "earthly" Jewish king). (It seems to me that the pericope expresses a dispute between Peter and Jesus about what is meant by the title "Christ".)

Mark 8:29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. 31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

To blur this offensive interpretation, Matthew could have created his personified devil but the last temptation in Matthew 4:8-9 could be inspired by the temptation by Peter in GMark.
rgprice wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:26 pm Matthew 4:
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

davidmartin
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Re: The tempting of Jesus by Satan

Post by davidmartin »

At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
There is a sense of the spirit 'birthing' him, isn't it ekbalo the word used. A sense of birth into the world with its inhabitants and evil etc
The '40' days is it days or a period of time. is it implied something on his spiritual birth / mission here
all this lost in Matt and Luke presentation?
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