#liveblogging #sblaar Markan Literary Sources

There is no doubt this is my favorite session. This is the Markan Literary Sources seminar and includes the top scholars in the field. Fortunately, I get to sit in as well.

This seminar is split between two days. The first, today, has 3 papers. Tomorrow is the session where I will present. Unlike most sessions, we have had the papers for a while.

One thing I’ve learned in this section is to not really live blog it. Why? Because sometimes my reactions aren’t the best – you can’t produce snark too easily on a screen. Three papers are on the agenda for today.

The first paper argues that Peter’s portrayal in Mark is based on Paul’s biography and seems to use Luke-Acts as the example of this. The author of the paper is correct, of course, that we can judge it by the Acts of Peter because in this later work, Peter becomes very Paul-like in his own biography. However, my argument to counter this is thus. Luke may have simply used Mark’s account of Peter to build Paul’s biography in Acts. The presenter is not a fan of Bauckham. Does seem to have something of Brody in him as he refers to 1 Corinthians as a source for Mark.

I don’t fully disagree with this, but it can be a fallback.

MacDonald questions the presenter, based on his methodology, whether or not there is anything in the Gospel that triggers the reader’s reception. I tend to agree. A few more questions.

The next paper is going to be right up MacDonald’s alley, suggesting Mark 6.45–52 is based on a Platonic reading of the Odyssey. As a matter of fact, the paper is based on a previous paper from MacDonald’s class.

Please note, I think MacDonald’s methodology is needed, outstanding, and a whole host of purple adjectives, but I disagree with his conclusions, that Homer was used as a source for Mark’s Gospel. This paper proves my suggestions correct about the conclusions as expressed in my book, which MacDonald didn’t like. You cannot just base a literary dependence upon one word.

Interesting enough, the presenter points out that Job could underlie this passage but dismisses this idea because Job is not a sea story. However, I have to disagree. While Job is not a sea story as a whole it involves Wisdom and other Creation (by the sea (order/chaos) motifs. MacDonald says the reader would have to be astute to get if Mark was using Job, but isn’t that the point of allusions.

She has a good point about the scene on the lack as having to do with Exodus and possible Wisdom 14.2–7.

MacDonald really wants to stress the use of Homer, even to the detriment of the LXX or other contextual sources, such as Philo. I have to agree with MacDonald about the use of Philo though; just not sure it would have gotten around.
Another question is asked regarding the use of the fourth watch. I think it is the trigger itself, pointing us to something Roman.

Winn makes a good point regarding the YHWH/Jesus comparisons, especially here. Again, what if Jesus is taking the place of YHWH?

Next up is a paper suggesting Mark used Enoch and he tests he the Goodacre-O’Leary way – with Matthew. Suggests the Transfiguration is key to understanding this. He raises a good question. Where is Enoch in the story, especially given his popularity in the time? And we get to it. “Jesus is Enoch.” The presenter explores this in an allegorical fashion, much like Mark does with John the Baptist as Elijah.

Wow. Bam. Also, the first mention of the word “mimetic.” This is a great paper. He does believe in a form of Q, though.

I am still blown away that MacDonald believes in Q and how much he tries to force his thesis into every conversation.

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3 Replies to “#liveblogging #sblaar Markan Literary Sources”

  1. MacDonald did this to me once. I presented after him in Atlanta – during the discussion of my paper he constantly kept turning things around to his ideas. Very frustrating. But he’s a nice man. His paper at SBL International was fascinating and he’s bringing a book out about it. It’s the idea that John uses the Bacchae as a literary source.

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