Was the Gospel of Mark adjusted by Christians?

Discussion in 'History and Mythology' started by badger, May 14, 2022.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Just for clarification of Mark 14:51 for anyone following –
    "And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth (Mark uses the term sindon, a linen cloth, in which the bodies of the dead were wrapped, or alternatively a light and loose garment worn at night) cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him:"

    The only time Mark uses sindon elsewhere is the cloth used to wrap Christ at His burial (15:46). Assuming the young man was not wrapped in a burial cloth, we can assume the alternative reading, a sleeping robe, so was not at the supper, nor with the eleven, but came from wherever he had been sleeping in some haste.
     
  2. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Irrelevant to this particular topic.
    This topic is about who saw the youth
    Who saw the youth.......!
    What?
    The sudden arrest, the fighting, the running, mayhem, and you think that a disciple or two might have been standing around, watching all this?
    0/10 imo.

    You think there were houses, buildings there? Folks looking out of windows?

    Now you see the mayhem. At last.

    Now. .....again I ask, who saw that incident. Or would you like me to help you?
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    We don't know, do we, that's my point.

    You are free to speculate as much as you wish. I adhere to sound scholarly practice, so distinguish between speculation, and what we can affirm.

    If we knew who the author of the gospel was, and that he was an eye-witness, then we would know, but as we don't know who wrote the gospel, which by tradition is attributed to 'Mark', believed to be John Mark, we know that his is a second-hand testimony, the primary source being Peter, probably other oral strands, as well as the influence of the theology of Paul.

    Speculation? It could well have been John Mark, or someone like Simon of Bethany.

    Now you're creating a scenario. I could similarly create one in which Peter – or anyone – does just that.

    Over to you ...

    Supposing our witness is one of the mob, a closet Christian come to see what's going to happen, or a later convert, and he recounts his story subsequently?

    Well we don't know ehere 'there' is, we have a number of possible sites, but we can say it's across the Kidron Valley. Bethany is not too far away to be ruled out. The arrest part would have set off from Jerusalem, and followed Jesus' path across the valley into Gethsemane. Word spreads, others come to see what's going on...

    The point is, whoever he is, Mark says he's wearing a sleeping robe and nothing else. So either he's in accommodation, or he's camping camping, as the city will be crowded for Passover.

    So my answer would be:
    1) Perhaps Peter
    2) Perhaps John Mark
    3) Simon of Bethany
    4) Anonymous oral tradition

    But: if it is Mark, then he arrives having witnessed nothing of the events leading up to the arrest, witnesses at a distance, and then runs away, so where does he get all the detail?
     
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  4. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Several hours ago I read that piece, so I believe that you have just copy/pasted somebody else's opinion..... true?

    ......and that.

    Of course we know some of the people who definitely absolutely saw that.

    So you accept the speculations of scholarship?
    Affirm? Are you telling me that scholars have affirmed to their writings about the arrest? I don't think you could know what that means here, UK.

    These ideas are scattered.......

    You took scenarios from scholarship, such as the youth's clothing being for bed use...... a peasant youth.
    You had him looking out upon the scene and going to look.
    Scholarship has even decide to use this account as theological metaphor.

    Oh...there it is, mentioned by me above.

    Another of your scenarios.

    I don't think you can tell us what Mark says if he hasn't said it. That garment... how does the Author of Mark know that this garment was lightweight material usually used to wrap corpses? I do believe the account and so I want to know how the author knew that. In the furore of the temple guards arriving, a vicious fight, everybody legging it in all directions (Peter got clear but he certainly didn't have time to peruse the scene) and there are only certain people who were close enough to that and could tell us exactly what it was........... and you seem to have missed the lot.

    Peter was in frantic action....no time to watch anything.
    You've put John Mark at the scene without any evidence at all.
    You've put Simon/Bethany at the scene for some reason....
    Oral tradition? So who saw this to speak of it for it to get around. Why was it so special? Although I don't think there were any casual watchers at all, if there had been they would be talking about sword fights, mayhem, Jesus taken.....before running youths.

    You mean the author of Mark? He got all the detail because he was most likely there.

    The only people who would be intimately acquainted with that incident would be....
    The young guards! (not mentioned by your scholars? not important? )
    The youth himself.

    Nobody else could comment on the material of clothing in a dark scenario of mayhem.
    The guards failed, so they probably would prefer for this tale to die, I think.
    The youth himself, and it was so impressed in to his memory that this incidental mention was his. In his gospel.

    Claims that this scene was a deeply religious symbol are just funny........
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hey, badger – let's cut to the chase.

    What evidence have you that a scribe, traditionally named as Mark, and by Mark the tradition means John Mark, cousin of Barnabas, sometime follower of Paul and the companion of Peter, was an eye-witness to the arrest in the garden, when it's clear he was not an eye witness to most of the rest of the gospel?

    And what evidence have you that Mark is other than the John Mark aforementioned?
     
  6. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Deja vu! Already explained. And I'm not interested in your long title above...... for me it was the author, as a youth, who clearly was with the group.
    A 'certain' young man......who, although (I expect) a peasant like the others, preferred cool linen to wool. How much do you know about garments used by the peasant classes?

    Why you think that this author was not an eye witness to other parts of the account baffles me. You have no clue either way, methinks, although I think I've dig up a few over the years.

    And so........
    The guard's knew, but their failure could have reduced their wishes to tell about it too much.
    The youth knew, and this incident remaining with him forever in chilling memory is a strong case for his writing about it, even though it was not a particularly important point.

    The scholarship ideas that I have read don't mention the guard witnesses, evidence that scholarship is more embedded in it's own agendas to think about the place, the time, the season, the shock horror of it and the circumstances. And theological guesses about it leave me cold.
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Just to clarify something here, an error I might have suggested.

    The arrest in the Garden was of Jesus only – not His followers – and the description of events in all four gospels is nowhere near as chaotic as @badger and I have implied.

    In short:
    Jesus is with his disciples in the Garden when Judas appears, with the soldiers and servants of the chief priest. Judas identifies Jesus with a kiss, and the guard move forward to arrest him. There is a spoken exchange. Someone (John says Peter) drew a sword and struck Malchus (according to John), the servant of the Chief Priest, wounding his ear, but peace is rapidly restored, before events escalate. There is further discussion. Jesus points out He was preaching in the temple, and no-one lifted a finger, so why now? (Interesting: no comment about the fracas throwing out the moneylenders, etc. Anyway ...)

    Then the guards led Jesus away. All in all, quite peaceable, apart from the brief scuffle and the wounding of one of the servants. If there had been more to it than that, the guard would have gone to work, there would have been a melée, heads bashed, blood spilled. But there wasn't. It's quite possible a number of people had by this time followed the guards, servants, etc., to see what was going to happen. The last thing anyone wanted was a riot, so Peter's assault was played down. He wasn't arrested. It's one of those 'nothing to see here, move along' moments.

    Then his disciples leaving him, 'all fled away' after Jesus is led off. They were not chased, so there's no implication of panic or chaos.

    Now here it gets interesting:
    Jesus is arrested, and led away. Then:
    "And they (the disciples) all forsook him, and fled. And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him" (Mark 14:50-52).

    So it seems to me the text is saying that a young man, clothed only in a sleeping robe, followed the crowd as they left Gethsemane en route to Annas (being closest), and then Caiphas (if we follow the detail in John). Somewhere along the way, the young man is spotted, and other 'young men' try to grab him. I would suggest the guard were busy escorting Jesus, their business was done, so it was probably not the guard who tried to grab him, they had no reason to, but some of the followers. He loses his shirt, and gets away.

    Why did they try and grab him? What were they going to do? Who can say – he's not 'wanted', as such, and he's done nothing wrong.

    Meanwhile, according to Mark "Peter followed him (Jesus) from afar off, even into the court of the high priest; and he sat with the servants at the fire, and warmed himself." And John has "... Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple" (John 18:15) – so although the disciples 'fled', Peter, at least, stayed around, followed to see where Jesus was being taken ... might well have seen the young man, but had no idea who he was, or what happened, or why.
     
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  8. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Lots of people saw the arrest: the whole crowd who came to arrest Jesus saw the arrest; the apostles who were with Jesus saw the arrest and at least one of them -- traditionally Peter -- did not run but stepped in to defend Jesus with a sword; Judas Iscariot saw the arrest, as did anyone following along to see what it was all about? Lots of people ...
     
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  9. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Not really. A lot of imaginative expression, a lot of supposition ... no substance though, unless I missed it.

    As you dismiss scholarship, you're left with no clue to the identity of an anonymous author you insist must have been an eye witness ... why?
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Factor in Jesus' popularity, and then the guard, servants and others being called out in the night, word could well have spread, there might have been a sizeable mob, with a significant number of supporters and sympathisers, by the time they got to Gethsemane, another reason why the guard wanted to keep things as low-key as possible – the Sanhedrin were already frightened that an arrest would lead to uproar.
     
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  11. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    I am totally unconvinced with this proposal.
     
  12. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    I don't dismiss research, I'm just dismissing your choice of scholar articles
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    OK. I'm just following the text.

    There's nothing here that speaks of a fight, chaos, of "mayhem", of "the furore of the temple guards arriving, a vicious fight, everybody legging it in all directions" ... this is all a flight of the imagination that doesn't really correspond to the text.
     
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  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    OK.

    On what basis do you propose a Mark other than John Mark is the author of the gospel and, indeed, an eye witness?
     
  15. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    I don't! When I refer to Mark I'm simply referring to the author of G-Mark.
     
  16. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Here is a brief extract from the Wiki article about the Gospel of Mark:-
    The idea that the gospel could be used to reconstruct the historical Jesus suffered two severe blows in the early part of the 20th century, first when William Wrede argued strongly that the "Messianic secret" motif in Mark was a creation of the early church rather than a reflection of the historical Jesus, and in 1919 when Karl Ludwig Schmidt further undermined its historicity with his contention that the links between episodes are the invention of the writer, meaning that it cannot be taken as a reliable guide to the chronology of Jesus' mission: both claims are widely accepted today.[26] The gospel is nevertheless still seen as the most reliable of the four in terms of its overall description of Jesus's life and ministry.[27]

    Can the reader see the distinct 'It is but it isn't' proposal in the above?
    A mixture of ....... 'invention of the writer' ........... together with ................'seen as the most reliable of the four in terms of its overall description of Jesus's life and ministry'........ yes? No?

    The way I see G-Mark is that it has three distinct kinds of reports:
    Description's of Jesus, his friends and his campaign.
    Christian additions in the forms of 'prophesy fulfilled!' and Christian messages.
    Small details, side-lines and other innocuous details that a writer might mention 'by the way' as we might say.

    It's these 'Side-lines' which I am thinking of this morning, not that they are the main theme of this thread but because they can show clearly honest writing, because there isn't any way in which they can help the story...... they just are there!

    Mark
    {1:6} And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

    What a delightful detail about the Immerser, not particularly proving anything about him, simply a point of great interest.

    Mark
    {3:17} And James the [son] of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:

    Again..... the brothers' nickname could neither help nor hinder the account, just a simple detail. I personally think that those two just had boatmen's loud voices, most useful for making speeches to crowds, but an Alaskan HJ researcher once mentioned that Baroanerge also could have been translated in to 'Sons of violence'......... young John was certainly a 'pushy' character.

    Mark
    {6:4} But Jesus
    said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

    So true! When they promote people in many industries and services they have to move those promotions to areas which did not know them before. Familiarity breads contempt, and resentment. Nothing about the above can prove or damage the account.....it just ..is.

    And so on, all the way through the account...... those little sidelines and bywords, no reason to lie with them at all.
     
  17. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi badger – a bit of context here for our general audience:

    We have to be careful here, for who is saying what about 'the historical Jesus'?

    Generally, Christian scholarship regards Mark as the earliest gospel, and the evidence suggests that Matthew and Luke used Mark as the frame of their gospels. Again, generally, the Jesus of the NT is the Jesus of the gospels, who is the Jesus of history.

    The 'Quest for the Historical Jesus', began in the eighteenth century in an attempt to separate Jesus from the background texts and arrive at a biography of man. It's a perilous task, not least because of the scarcity of sources. It deserves a full post in its own right, but a quick look at wiki will provide lots of data.

    "... the historical Jesus suffered two severe blows in the early part of the 20th century, first when William Wrede argued strongly that the "Messianic secret" motif in Mark was a creation of the early church ... "
    William Wrede's making 'the Meeianic Secret' a theme of Mark's gospel is generally seen as making too much of too little. Certainly Mark is not alone in recording Jesus telling His disciples to keep quiet, and in all the gospels there is the implication that Jesus is the messiah, but not in the sense that is popularly desired.

    "... and in 1919 when Karl Ludwig Schmidt further undermined its historicity with his contention that the links between episodes are the invention of the writer, meaning that it cannot be taken as a reliable guide to the chronology of Jesus' mission."
    Papias said as much in the first century, and the Early Church theologians understood it this way. It has always been understood that the scribes organised their materials building towards the Passion and the Cross, and that chronological accuracy was not a concern.

    "The gospel is nevertheless still seen as the most reliable of the four in terms of its overall description of Jesus's life and ministry."
    Overall, perhaps, but read in the light of John offers greater insight.

    Yes. But I don't see the problem?

    What is being said is, given that Mark utilises his materials to construct his gospel. Thus he is not necessarily accurate in terms of chronology (for example), but he is generally reliable in terms of the overall picture.

    Having said that, as we generally accept Matthew and Luke follows Mark (some will order it differently), the only complement to Mark we have is John, and in some details, John proves more informative – Jesus' three-year ministry, for example, and a mass of incidental detail.

    Quite. That's why John's gospel holds such appeal for me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2022
  18. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Hello again..........
    This thread (for me) has followed my way as with the 'Laws of Moses' thread.......... scroll down until the pages of G-Mark stop, and see what there is to comment upon. For today:-

    Mark
    {3:31} There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. {3:32} And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. {3:33} And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my
    brethren? {3:34} And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

    How about that? So much to find from a few words, I think.
    I don't think that multitude can mean that many people, not enough for a modern-day football team (!), because they were in a house, thus:-

    Mark
    {3:19} ............................ and they went into an house

    I wonder what was written in that first manuscript. I think that they were in Magdala.....anyway. And Jesus's Mother and brothers have slogged it to Magdala, maybe to remonstrate with him, certainly not to chat about everyday matters unless they were in some danger because of their son/sibling.
    And that response....... and those who sat with him, 'Behold, my mother and my brethren!'

    How often I think of these words when I hear of divided households, nasty fights over inheritances, sibling rivalry and jealousy, in fact any family disharmony.......... one's closest true friends are of one's family, just as Jesus said.

    For me there are no 'Buts' about that.
     
  19. badger

    badger Well-Known Member

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    Today I scrolled though G-Mark and the cursor stopped here:-

    Mark {9:30} And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know [it.]
    {9:31} For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. {9:32} But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.
    {9:33} And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? {9:34} But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves....................

    But what if the story had been, thus:-
    Mark {9:30} And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know [it.] {9:33} And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? ......................

    And that (for me) just flows......... without 9:31/32 at all.
    Just saying...........
     
  20. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Of course -- just drop Jesus's predicting his death and resurrection from the narrative ;)
     

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