A literary relationship between Mk. 14:57-64 and 15:38-39?
George Mallory Patton
gpatton at bayou.com
Fri Aug 31 23:15:45 EDT 2001
In Mark 14:61 Jesus was before the high priest. The high priest asked him
if he was "the Christ the Son of the Blessed". Jesus answered that he
was. The high priest then tore his mantle. He said that Jesus spoke
blasphemy and ask for a decision. No doubt, Mark thought that the priest
was supposed to speak for God, but had done just the opposite. I think
that Mark thought that there was a time for the priest to tare his clothes
and cry, "Blasphemy!", and be speaking for God, but that the timing of the
high priest was wrong.
I believe that Mark intended Mark 14:57-64 to help us interpret Mark
15:38-39. At this point Jesus has just been executed. I think that Mark
would believe that was the proper time for the high priest to speak for
God, tare his mantle and cry, "Blasphemy!". But the high priest does not.
Therefore, Mark symbolically has God tare his own mantle: "the curtain of
the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom" (15:38). And in God has
the centurion to answer the priest's question of (14:61), "Are you the Son
of the blessed?" by saying, "Truly this man was Son of God!"
I think that the ripping of the curtain may serve more than one literary
purpose. It could also symbolize the "beginning" of the destruction of
the temple that Jesus spoke of in 13:2 and also symbolize God pronouncing
judgment upon the crime of the killing of the one he sent.
George M. Patton
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