Walking on Water
Philip B Lewis
phil at sedona.net
Sun Nov 7 19:40:51 EST 1999
On Sat. Nov.6, George W. Young of Queens College, St. John's NF wrote:
>However, one objection to viewing
the sea-walking narrative as a 'displaced resurrection appearance' is the
pre-gospel connection to the feeding of the five thousand - something
highlighted by the narrators aside in v.52 - which seems to link the
sea-walk with Jesus' pre-death ministry. If you don't mind, how would you
respond to this pre-gospel connection? (NB: by 'pre-gospel' I mean prior to
The Feeding of the 5K is one of four _haggadoth_, the others being: Healing
of the Gerasene Demoniac, Healing of a hemorhaging woman, and deliverance of
the disciples from a storm, all told interpreting Ps.107, 1-32 which was
part of the Rosh Hasana liturgy for making votive offerings in the Temple.
They had been collected in a narrative telling of Jesus' voyaging with the
disciples on the Sea of Galilee. That was Mark's Boat Source.
The Walking on the Water narrative was connected artificially to the
Feeding of the 5K by Mark himself and gathered into the first half of his
Bread Theme presentation, a composition redolent of Jewish connotations.
Other elements of it included the Pharisees' challenge, "Why do your
disciples...*eat bread* (literally; "bread" is dropped in translation since
the whole idiom referred to eating a meal) with unwashed hands?", Jesus'
encounter with a Syro-phoenecian woman ("childrens' bread" and "crumbs"
continue the theme), and the mouth cure of a deaf-mute symbolizing Israel.
The second half of Mark's Bread Theme development (Mk.9.1-26) parallels the
first half and is totally composed (invented) by Mark himself. A feeding,
"no sign to this generation", a warning against the *leaven* of the
Pharisees and Herod, the Riddle of the Loaves, and the healing of a blind
man on the outskirts of (Gentile) Bethsaida round it out.
The connotations of this second half are as "Gentile" as one could ask.
The pre-gospel you were asking about followed immediately on the Empty Tomb
discovery and contained the Walking on Water, an earlier form of the
Transfiguration narrative and a final Charge "What I say to you, I say to
all, Watch" (for the parousia assured in present Mk.13. Note that Mark has
built an introductory catena leading into his present Apocalyptic Discourse.
That is how I see Mark using his sources.
-phil at sedona.net
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