[GMark] Mark 15:37-39/ The Torn Veil
hstaiti at aol.com
Sat Jan 26 16:14:55 EST 2008
My study of Christian origins led me to believe that the New Testament is a collection of the products of various New Testament communities. Mark's final composition (circa 67 CE) and Matthew (circa 85) and Luke (70-90 AD) and John (90 AD) are not Jesus discourses arguments against the Pharisees of his day, but the polemic and apologetic writings of ekklesia's scribes at the beginning of the post 2nd temple period. Regarding the place of the historical Jesus in the Gospel's stratification of narratives, it appears he protested the priestly group which led Israel through its interpretation of Levitical law. What we read in the Gospels, particularly in Like, is a challenge of the ritual purity laws of the land. When he God to Jerusalem, Jesus sealed his destiny when he turned over the money changer's table. He died opposing corrupt and oppressive political/religious power.
The Pharisees, however, were a minor sect at the time of Jesus, as was "the church" in the initial decades after Jesus' crucifixion. Both rose substantially in prominence after the destruction of the Jerusalem and its leaders, first in 70 CE, then in the rebellion in 120 CE. There was a struggle between the ekklesia and the synagogue group as to who would lead in the interpretation of the Israelite Epic, and from what we read in their narratives, it wasn't pretty. More often than not, the Gospel writers characterize and even demonize their opponents in the synagogue. They write of their movement in terms which exalt it above and beyond that of the synagogue group led by the Pharisees. Both groups struggling to lay claims to the Israelite epic would flourish after the rebellion tin the Holy Land in the second century. The synagogue group led by the Pharisees would develop Rabbinical Judaism, and the Messianic movement would become Christianity. It does appear from their narratives that the ekklesia taught believers in antiquity that they had Jesus and did not need the temple. Certainly John presented a replacement theology, as did the author of Hebrews, but I am not so sure narratives like Mark have this in their sites as much. It appears we have allusions to the question between the ekklesia and the synagogue groups as to who is authentically leading Israel in the way of God.
The question both groups had to resolve was how to justify their community's existence without a temple and priests to rule over the people. It appears it wasn't just the Rabbis who were finding ways to continue the community of believers without a these things. Post 70 CE New Testament authors offer us their theological basis for continuing the Israelite Epic without a temple. I understand how passages like Mark 13 could includes assumptions about replacement theology, but I believe it reads more like "we told you so" than the kind of over replacement theology we read in John's Gospel and the Epistle to the Hebrews.
In a message dated 01/26/08 12:09:12 Eastern Standard Time, crossleyjames at hotmail.com writes:
While I wouldn't dream of offering advice on a sermon on the torn veil, I would add a few critical comments on comments here and critical scholarship in general. The idea that there is some kind of replacement Temple and/or High Priest or related issues suffers a major problem: Mark mentions nothing of the sort. In fact, Mark says very little in terms of interpretation. Much of the idea of a replacement Temple/High Priest often fills the gaps through the idea of (supposed) superiority over Judaism. This becomes even more problematic given that Roger Aus has given plenty of evidence from early Judaism sarguing that it is entirely plausible to interpret the Markan passage as God tearing his garment for the loss of his son. Now that may be right or wrong but it has the advantage of being paralleled in early Judaism. At the very least Aus' work needs to be discussed before the constant idea that we are delaing with a new replacement Temple or the like.
Ref: R. D. Aus, Samuel, Saul and Jesus. Three Early Palestinian Jewish Christian Gospel Haggadoth, 1994 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1994) (somewhere around pp. 147-57)
And the Pauline authorship of Hebrews would need some defending! ;-)
Dept of Biblical Studies,
University of Sheffield, UK
She said what? About who? Shameful celebrity quotes on Search Star! =
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