Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, April 18, 2005

More Marcan Conflations

In yesterday blog’s, prompted by a comment from Michael Turton, I noted that Lindsey made certain observations on his study of the Gospel of Mark. What I did not indicate is that Lindsey initially set out to translate the Gospel of Mark into Hebrew for the use of the members of his Hebrew-speaking congregation located near the Sea of Galilee. One of his earliest observations was “that the Lukan text was almost always easier to translate to idiomatic Hebrew than was Mark.”[i]

Today I wish to mention two more Marcan conflations noted by Lindsey.

In Luke both Jesus and John the Baptist are criticized. John had neither “eaten bread nor drunk wine” but the people said he “had a demon.” Jesus had both eaten and drunk and the people said he was a glutton and a winebibber. According to Lindsey, “The Markan conflated version has destroyed the original distinction.”[ii]

In his analysis of the Lucan Parallels to so-called Little Apocalypse of Mark 13, Lindsey noted, as did William Lockton, the same kind of Marcan conflation of Lucan pericopae and verses of Mark 13.

“The following verses in Mark and Luke are close enough to argue for some kind of direct dependence of one writer on the work of the other.”

Mark 13: 1-9 . . . . . . . . Luke 21: 5-12
Mark 13: 12-14 . . . . . . Luke 21: 16-20
Mark 13: 17-19 . . . . . . Luke 21: 23
Mark 13: 24-26 . . . . . . Luke 21: 25-27
Mark 13: 28-31 . . . . . . Luke 21: 29-31

“Lockton pointed out where the missing Lukan verses occur above no verbal Markan parallel of any kind can be located, but, where at least six of the Markan replaced verses appear, close verbal parallels exist in the twelfth, seventeenth and nineteenth chapters of Luke. These parallels are:”

Mark 13: 11 . . . . . . . . . Luke 12: 11, 12
Mark 13: 15, 16 . . . . . . Luke 17: 31
Mark 13: 21 . . . . . . . . . Luke 17: 23
Mark 13: 33 . . . . . . . . . Luke 21: 36
Mark 13: 34 . . . . . . . . . Luke 19: 12, 13

Mark 13: 35-37 . . . . . . Luke 12: 40, 38

“One can explain how Mark has dropped verses and replaced them with pick-ups from the scattered contexts of Luke’s Parousia but it is extremely difficult to understand how Luke can in any sense have used Mark in constructing his twenty-first chapter. Luke’s discourse is almost exclusively a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and as such hangs on the various references in the text to Jerusalem (Lk. 21:20, 21-auten, 24). In every instance, Mark has what appears to be a replacement: once in reference to Daniel’s abomination of desolation” (Mk 13:14), once in the borrowed verse from Luke 17:31 found in Mark 13:15, and once in a long pick-up (Mk 13:19, 20) which includes a quotation from Daniel 12:1 and some apparently lost apocalypse which emphasized the ‘chosen’ and ‘the shortening of the days’ in a way unknown in any New Testament parallels. This is a clear pattern of conflation but the more important point is that we can trace most of these conflations to literary sources, which include non-Markan portions of Luke. Sometime later I came to realize that Mark 13:32, 35-37 shows also the influence of Mark of Acts 1:6, 7 and 1 Thessalonians 5:6, 7.”[iii]

[i] Lindsey, 12.
[ii] Lindsey, 35.
[iii] Lindesy, 42-44.

copyrighted 2005


Blogger Michael Turton said...

It's interesting that Lindsey thought that story was conflated by Mark.

I am currently posting on that very issue on my blog. I believe actually the whole Jesus-has-a-demon is a creation of Mark, for it contains two important signals of Markan style. The first I have already logged a post on, the motif of possession, which is not a Lukan or Matthean theme.

The other one, Mark's way of referring to stories he has paralleled elsewhere in his Gospel. The reference to Beelzebub points back to 2 Kings, the sole reference in the OT/Septuagint, where the hapless King lies dying from falling through a lattice. Robert Price and several others have suggested that this was used midrashically to construct the healing of the paralytic.

Meanwhile I am tackling an article by Fledderman who argue that the whole thing is a Mark-Q overlap! It's in _Jesus, Mark and Q_...

The Jesus/John/demon thing is a mess that is very difficult to sort out. *sigh*

5:47 AM


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