Monday, March 07, 2011

NTS latest

The latest New Testament Studies is just out, access for subscribers and subscribing institutions only; abstracts available for all:

New Testament Studies 57/2 (April 2011)


In Memoriam: Rev. Professor Robin McL. Wilson and Professor Graham N. Stanton
John Barclay
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 153 - 154

Research Articles

The Female Body as Social Space in 1 Timothy
Adela Yarbro Collins
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 155 - 175

Matthew's Use of Mark: Did Matthew Intend to Supplement or to Replace His Primary Source?
David C. Sim
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 176 - 192

Crucifixion and Burial
John Granger Cook
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 193 - 213

Announcing the Human: Rethinking the Relationship Between Wisdom of Solomon 13–15 and Romans 1.18–2.11
Jonathan A. Linebaugh
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 214 - 237

Paul's Mosaic Ascent: An Interpretation of 2 Corinthians 12.7–9
M. David Litwa
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 238 - 257

A Non-combat Myth in Revelation 12
András Dávid Pataki
New Testament Studies, Volume 57, Issue 02, April 2011, pp 258 - 272


Stephen C. Carlson said...

I want to read the David Sim piece. It seems plausible and broadly congruent to my thinking lately.

Stephen C. Carlson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen C. Carlson said...

Also, congrats to David Litwa, whom I've gotten to know at Duke.

Mark Goodacre said...

Yes, great to see David Litwa's piece in NTS.

I have briefly read the David Sim piece and enjoyed though I want to go back and spend a little more time with it. I was pleased that the Farrer theory got a big fat footnote too. I often complain about it getting ignored so I should celebrate it when it is mentioned.

Edwardtbabinski said...

I sent Sim an email, but have not heard back. If anyone has comments please contact me:

Dear Dr. Sim, I am writing not only to applaud you for your piece, but to ask some questions concerning your statement that "Mark . . . maintains that the family of Jesus thought he was possessed by a demon." I want to know how to reply to those who claim that the passage means no such thing. For instance the NIV adds a footnote stating that "his family" could merely mean "associates." It appears that the authors of the NIV want their readers to ignore the connection between verse 20 and verse 31: "When his family heard about this [i.e., Jesus starting a ministry by calling twelve and having huge crowds gather round him], they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." . . . Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. . . . Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." According to the NIV, the "family" concerned about Jesus' mental health could merely be some "associates" of Jesus. I suspect one would defend that it was Jesus' "family" and not merely some "associates" but pointing out the way Mark breaks up his stories, beginning one, inserting something in the middle of it, then continuing and ending the story. His family "heard and went," and then there is an insertion about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and "then his mother and brothers arrived." Would that be the primary way to defend the idea that these were not merely "associates" as the NIV suggests they might be?

Secondly, some might suggest that the phrase, "He is out of his mind," does not necessarily imply that his family thought he was demon possessed. Or is there evidence that all forms of "being out of one's mind" were blamed on demons during second temple Judaism? What references might I cite on that topic? In my discussions online I have to deal with inerrantists.

Edwardtbabinski said...

What does the story mean as a whole? That his family was surprised that Jesus was starting a ministry, gathering twelve disciples and huge crowds were gathering round him? They thought he was out of his mind, but when they arrived they couldn't reach him because of the crowds. Yet nothing more is said about his family wanting to take charge of him after that first attempt. Is the story meant to suggest that this was the time when his family first ran across evidence that Jesus was "not" simply out of his mind, but was more than just a member of their family? If so, then this story contrasts greatly with the other Gospels in which plenty of miraculous evidence was "treasured" by Mary.

For instance, Matthew and Luke claim that Jesus' mother knew he was special based on fantastic miracles related to his birth, and when twelve-year old Jesus (per Luke) was "found . . . in the temple courts," and, "Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers," and, "his mother treasured all these things in her heart" (a phrase Luke also used in reference to miracles surrounding Jesus' birth, "Mary treasured these things in her heart").

But if Jesus' mother treasured all those things in her heart, including the miracles related to his birth, and including (according to the fourth Gospel) his mother confidently requesting Jesus to perform his first miracle, then how could this same family, including his mother "want to take charge of him, saying 'He is out of him mind?'" In other words the story in Mark depicts a Jesus whose family did not "treasure all these things," including the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Zechariah and to Mary, the miracle of Jesus' conception, Joseph's miraculous dreams, Anna the prophetess "coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem," angels appearing and singing near Jesus' birthplace, a star hovering above the place where Jesus was born, the Magi miraculously finding the new born savior, Joseph's miraculous dreams, Jesus displaying remarkable wisdom when twelve, and Jesus' mother asking Jesus to perform his first miracle. Instead, Mark depicts a Jesus whose family thought he was "out of his mind" after he began his ministry.

How do theologians "deal" with such a discrepancy?

Edwardtbabinski said...

A few final questions. . .
How could anyone imagine Peter was the source of the Gospel of Mark? It is the Gospel of Matthew, not Mark, that has Peter praised for a full paragraph by Jesus and handed the keys to heaven and hell, and also Matthew where Peter walks on the water beside Jesus. Neither of those things are found in Mark where Peter and the apostles in general all receive faint praise.

Lastly, I just want to make sure, in Mark one of the Marys who goes to anointed the body is Jesus' mother, correct? Or not? For instance, Mark 6 says of Jesus, "Isn’t this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon?” While Mark 15 says, "Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were . . . Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph." Is it clear in Mark that his mother went to anointed Jesus' body?

P.S., Having studied differences between the Gospels, some of my past pieces include:

My study of Gospel comparisons has also been spurred by recent attempts by Christian apologist Timothy Mcgrew (whose work has appeared in Blackwell's Handbook of Natural Theology) to revive Paley and Blunt's argument from "Undesigned Coincidendences," to which I will be posting another reply soon on my blog.

I also contributed a chapter on "The Cosmology of the Bible" to The Christian Delusion (Prometheus Books, 2010)