Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Hardness of Heart

“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26.

Continuing my comments on the priority of Luke, I noticed that in Luke 24:45-47 Jesus appears to the ten disciples, and John adds the story the Doubting Thomas story to explains why only ten. Verse 45 states: "Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. . . ."

It looks like Mark, like John, felt a need to expand what Luke had written. Mark take this phrase to explain that the disciples did not understand because "their hearts were harden" and provides examples. Mark uses the Greek words 'porosis' and 'poroo' to criticize the disciples and also the Pharisees but not the scribes or Sadducees. Neither Matthew nor Luke employed these words. Mark equated the hardness of heart of the Pharisees with the disciples making the criticism devastating. This concept is unique to Mark. When one recognizes that in Matthew, Jesus stated, "on this rock I will build my church" the criticism by Mark becomes even more stinging in its effectiveness. Mark is challenging the authority of Matthew (because of Peter) and Luke (because of the Jerusalem community). Both Luke and Mark use the phrase "they did not understand" [agnoeo] but only Mark goes out of his way to explain why they did not understand.

Would someone reading Mark understand 'porosis' or 'poroo' as a comment on Peter and what Jesus said: "on this rock I will build my church"?

Copyrighted 2005


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