Mark and Matthew

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22 Mar 2011

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Early Christian Writings: Narratives
(Mark): Jesus the Stranger: Misunderstood, Mysterious,
Non-Torah Observant Teacher, and Riser from the Dead
Most consider mark the earliest Gospel, as it served as a source for
Matthew and Luke
Author was unfamiliar with Judean geography and culture, and even
Jewish scripture
Written for gentile Christians living somewhere in the Greek-
speaking Mediterranean
Jews are outsiders
Jesus brings a new-teaching
(6:1-6) Jesus is rejected by his fellow Jews in different forms
oHe is in conflict with Jewish leaders
oHis own family thinks hes crazy
oHis disciples dont know, trust, or understand him
Mark presents conflicts between Jesus and Jews
Mark is a kind of Pauline interpretation of Jesus. Jesus represents
something new. His coming marks the end of Jewish culture. It
involves suffering of in the brief interim before his return.
Dramatic Centre/Turning Point:
And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesare'a Philip'pi;
and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" And they
told him, "John the Baptist; and others say, Eli'jah; and others one of the
prophets." And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter
answered him, "You are the Messiah." And he sternly ordered them not to tell
anyone about him. (Mark, 8:27-30)
Distinct to Mark
He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the
beasts; and the angels waited on him. (Mark, 1:13)
They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, What is this? A
new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean, spirits and
they obey him. (Mark, 1:27)
Like Paul, this author presents Jesus as something new and distinct
from Judaism
Then he said to them, The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not
humankind for the Sabbath. - (Mark, 2:27)
Another departure from Judaism
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And his family when they had heard, went out to restrain [seize] him, for
they said, he has gone crazy. Mark, 3:21
Jesus own family thinks hes crazy, once again Mark paints Jesus
followers in a bad light
He also said, The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the
ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout
and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk,
then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at
once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come. (Mark, 4:26-
Parable of the seed growing secretly
…since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)” (Mark, 7:19)
Jesus breaks with Jewish laws
He was teaching and saying, Is it not written, My house shall be called a
house of prayer for all the nations? But you have made it a den for robbers.
(Mark, 11:17)
all nations’ supports Marks gentile interests
A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth.
They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.
(Mark, 14:51)
This may be part of a secret gospel of Mark
They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry
his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.
(Mark, 15:21)
This is an odd mentionperhaps this story was told to the author of
this gospel by Simon, Alexander, or Rufus
They had been saying to one another, Who will roll away the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb? When they looked up, they saw that the
stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered
the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right
side; and they were alarmed. (Mark, 16:3)
THESIS: The second generation Christian community that produced this
text, like Paul, rejected Torah-observance, an interpretation of Jesus that
both Matthew and Luke reject, for they present Jesus as Torah-observant.
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