My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mark 16

To resurrect, or not to resurrect

Summary:
A couple of day later, some woman came to lay flowers at the tomb, but it was open, and an angel was on it. He told them that Jesus had risen and gone to Galilee. They were freaked.

Jesus appeared to many people, and told them to preach to the nations. He then went to be God's right-hand man, and the apostles went out into the world.

Key verse:
6. "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.

My thoughts:
Okay, so this chapter is controversial, because pretty much everyone is pretty damn sure that verses 9-20 weren't in the original Mark. Either Mark ends very quickly with the announced resurrection, and no appearances, or we've lost the real ending. Either way, verses 9-20 may have some legitimacy, but they aren't part of the original Mark.

Anyway, some have claimed that Mark didn't know about the resurrection. This is ridiculous. Even without verses 9-20 it is there, and it is mentioned throughout his gospel.

Anyway, Mark is over now. Onto Luke! The best Gospel.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Deane said...

Pete wrote:
some have claimed that Mark didn't know about the resurrection. This is ridiculous. Even without verses 9-20 it is there, and it is mentioned throughout his gospel

Deane:
I think you'll find that what is usually said is that the original Mark doesn't have an earthly resurrection intervening between Christ's ascension and his exaltation at the right hand of God. Most who point this out don't deny that the concept of ascension from 'grave to glory' is in Mark. They usually just deny that there were originally any earthly appearances inbetween. Jesus was thought to have risen straight from the dead to the right hand of God.

"[T]he general conviction in the earliest Christian preaching is that, as of the day of his resurrection, Jesus was in heaven, seated at the right hand of God. Resurrection and exaltation were regarded as two sides of one coin ..."
- Zwiep, The Ascension of the Messiah in Lukan Christology , 130

The earliest ideas of the resurrection are often described as "exaltation Christology", where Jesus was thought to go straight from grave to glory. There were 'appearances' of the risen Lord, but these all already attest to his prior exaltation (Rom 1.4; 8.34; Phil 2.9-11; 1 Thess 1.10; 1 Cor 15.4ff; Matt 28.16-20; Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition, 1.75). That is, after the resurrection, the Lord appears from heaven to his disciples, in a heavenly body.

However, beginning with Luke-Acts, other early Christian writings make a distinction between resurrection and ascension.

That's what scholarly folk tend to say about Mark, that is. This doesn't mean it's right, of course. You may disagree (or not). But if you're going to disagree, it's good to know what the others are really saying.

I suspect Mark 16.1-8 is based on Mary Magdalene's vision account.

5:49 pm

 
Blogger Pete W said...

When I was speaking of 'some' claiming that Mark had no resurrection, I wasn't really referring to scholars, but people I've talked to who haven't really looked into it. They just tag it along with "Wasn't there thousands of Gospels written just after Jesus, and Constantine just chose the four which he liked the most for his sexist Empire?"

Also, I think you'll find the earliest ideas we have of the resurrection are in Paul's letters. Read 1 Corinthians 15, and tell me that Paul didn't really believe that Jesus was resurrected in the body and appeared to people.

8:21 pm

 
Anonymous Deane said...

Pete
When I was speaking of 'some' claiming that Mark had no resurrection, I wasn't really referring to scholars, but people I've talked to who haven't really looked into it. They just tag it along with "Wasn't there thousands of Gospels written just after Jesus, and Constantine just chose the four which he liked the most for his sexist Empire?"

Deane
Ah - don't you just hate it when people become experts in early church history after reading the Da Vinci Code?


Pete
Also, I think you'll find the earliest ideas we have of the resurrection are in Paul's letters. Read 1 Corinthians 15, and tell me that Paul didn't really believe that Jesus was resurrected in the body and appeared to people.

Deane
Yes - Paul is the earliest extant writer on the resurrection, and he also has an exaltation Christology. That's why I cited 1 Cor 15 in my list above of early Christians who held to an exaltation Christology idea--that Jesus went straight fro grave to glory. According to Paul, Jesus, like all men and women who will rise to heaven, was given a glorious heavenly body to ascend to heaven. The appearance of Jesus to Paul is described as an appearance from heaven, in a glorious heavenly body. Paul lists this appearance at the end of all the post-ascension appearances of Jesus to his disciples. Paul also believed that he had the ability to travel to heaven in a visionary experience. It was a common idea amongst visionaries that they would be successively transformed as they ascended into the heavens.

I suspect Mark 16.1-8 is based on Mary Magdalene's vision account.

8:10 am

 
Blogger Pete W said...

What is the Mary Magadelene's vision account you speak of?

Yea, all Christians texts suggest that Jesus was exalted in his resurrection. He was in a new heavenly body. Some people like to extrapolate this to mean that Jesus didn't really rise, but that this was just in the hearts and minds and 'spiritual' experience of the disciples. I do not think that the New Testament lends itself towards that.

11:46 am

 

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