[B-Greek] Mark 12.24

Carl Conrad cwconrad2 at mac.com
Fri May 9 08:55:46 EDT 2008

On May 9, 2008, at 8:22 AM, Mitch Larramore wrote:

>> (1) Your proposal seems to ignore the OU which
>> precedes and turns DIA
>> TOUTO PLANASQE into a question with the reason for
>> the "difficulty"
>> with the question raised highlighted at the outset:
>> "Isn't THIS the
>> reason for your confusion? -- that you don't know
>> the scriptures nor
>> God's power either?" The initial OU makes this a
>> question that expects
>> a "yes" answer.
> But my question does not seem to be affected by the
> OU. I am expecting a yes answer. Isn't THIS (your
> presuppositions and methodology) the reason for your
> confusion? Yes, it is. And as a result of your
> presuppositions and methodology you do not know...

I don't think that follows at all. It's not a matter of  
presuppositions and methodology of the Sadducees but rather a matter  
of not thinking through the full implications of what it means to say  
that "God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." If they had  
thought through the implications of that, then they might have altered  
their presupposition that there is no resurrection. But I suspect that  
this is characteristic of lots of hermeneutic systems: that they let  
their presuppositions determine the possibilities of what scripture  
can mean.

>> (2) I wouldn't be so quick to call Sadducean
>> hermeneutics "silly";
>> like other methodologies for interpretation, this
>> one involves certain
>> assumptions about the boundaries of the canon of
>> scripture (Torah
>> only) and whether that canon should be interpreted
>> in terms of
>> original intention or in terms of present-day
>> circumstances.
> I called it "silly" because Jesus himself faults them
> for not knowing the Scriptures. His issue wasn't with
> some hermeneutics, but with their heart. They were
> overlooking the obvious because their presuppositions
> blinded them. In other words, Jesus exposes their
> childish approach to Scripture; their interpretation
> resulted from this childish, silly approach, unless
> your implying that Jesus is just some Joe Schmoe.

Hardly that; I think you're trying to have it both ways: (a) their  
method of interpretation is "silly", AND (b) they don't "know" the  
scriptures. What I was trying to say is that their method of  
interpretation is no more "silly" than the method of the Pharisees and  
Herodians in the immediately preceding pericope. The "problem" is that  
the Sadducean interrogators, just like the previous Pharisean and  
Herodian interrogators, weren't engaging in serious dialogue but in an  
effort to trap Jesus into an embarrassing answer.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

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