gmark digest: March 09, 2002
Rikki E. Watts
rwatts at interchange.ubc.ca
Mon Mar 11 13:28:04 EST 2002
The parallels are interesting, but selective. Surely, to be completely
accurate and fair, one should also consider the differences: I don't see
any equivalent to the casting of lots, nor is Jesus self-confessedly
disobedient or identified as the reason for the storm, and I think I missed
the bit where the disciples throw him out of the boat. No one is fleeing
from the presence of the Lord and it is Jonah's hitting the water that stops
the storm, in Mark it is Jesus' word. In Mark, the miracle worker turns out
to be "Jonah," not exactly what one would expect, and of course there's no
fish, nor cushion for that matter. If Mark is inventing a story out of
Jonah why does it look so unlike the Jonah account?
More of a problem is why would Mark create a story like this about Jesus in
the first place? If he is going to make him look like his Lord as you say,
where did he get the extraordinary idea in the first place that Jesus was
the embodiment of Israel's God? There's nothing like it in Jewish history.
And according to Holladay's study, Hellenistic Jewish writings do not
increase the thaumaturgic powers of their subjects in the direction of
Yahweh. Why would Mark do this?
on 9/3/02 8:00 PM, Kata Markon digest at gmark at franklin.oit.unc.edu wrote:
> GMARK Digest for Saturday, March 09, 2002.
> 1. Re: Stilling the Storm
> Joseph Alward responds:
> I believe the connection to Homer is vastly weaker than the one to Jonah.
> Furthermore, I believe that it *is* enough to find a parallel if the elements
> in the parallel are very distinctive, many in number, and if one can show
> that the author would have had contact with the alleged antecedent, and had a
> strong motivation to imitate it.
> In this case, we have virtually overwhelming evidence that Mark had contact
> with Jonah, since it was part of Scripture, which was used extensively by
> Mark in constructing his stories about Jesus.
> Thus, Mark knew his audience was familiar with the story of Jonah on the
> boat, and there can be no doubt that he would have known that the unique
> elements in his story (see appendix) would remind his readers of the
> identical ones in the Jonah story. He didn't call their attention to these
> correspondences probably because he thought they would be obvious to any
> intelligent reader or hearer, and, too, he may have wished to let the
> audience have the satisfaction of making the connection on their own.
> Thus, the evidence seems undeniable: Mark had the means and the opportunity
> to fabricate the story of Jesus on the boat. His motivation? He wanted his
> audience to realize that his "Jesus" could calm angry seas, just like the
> Joseph F. Alward
> "A Skeptical View of Christianity and the Bible"
> There are five elements in the two stories that are not to be found anywhere
> else in literature or folklore:
> 1. A raging storm threatens a boat.
> 2. The hero is asleep on the boat.
> 3. The hero is awakened and criticized for his apparent lack of concern.
> 4. The storm is miraculously calmed.
> 5. The passengers fear the miracle-worker.
Rikk Watts Ph. (604) 224 3245
Regent College Fax. (604) 224 3097
5800 University Boulevard, Vancouver, V6T 2E4.
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