Daily Archives: 2007-02-10 05:18:40 UTC

Questions liberate. Answers bind.

Richard in his first comment responding to my Bauckham 4a post took me to task for asking questions but not answering them: “You raise some interesting questions, but do not really answer them. It is not enough to wave a magic wand of doubt . . . ”

I have been looking back over old posts of mine that I am preparing to add here to my blog and cannot avoid the fact. Yes, it’s true, I plead guilty. read more »

Little Apocalypse and the Bar Kochba Revolt

Mark 13 is often called the Little Apocalypse or the Mount Olivet Prophecy. Many scholars use its content to calculate that the gospel of Mark must have been written either during the siege of Jerusalem in 70 ce or shortly afterwards. (A minority see in this chapter evidence to date the gospel much earlier, to the 40’s ce, but I will be discussing this view in a later post.) Dr Hermann Detering has a different view that I find quite persuasive. He places this chapter in the time of Hadrian and the Bar Kochba war of 135 ce. He does not date the gospel of Mark so late, but sees this chapter as a later redaction.

I posted the following on the JesusMysteries discussion group in 2001 and, as previously indicated, am adding it here as part of my efforts to collate things I have composed over the years. Unfortunately I don’t read German and used a machine translator to work out the main gist of his article. Happily since then his article has been translated into English by Michael Conley and Darrell Doughty and is available online here. So if you have any sense you will dismiss the rest of this post and go straight to the real thing, here (again). read more »

Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Chapter 6

6. Eyewitnesses “from the Beginning”

On page 114 Bauckham writes:

If the Gospels embody eyewitness testimony, then some at least of the eyewitnesses must have been able to testify not just to particular episodes of particular sayings of Jesus but to the whole course of Jesus’ story. Broadly the four Gospels agree on this scope of this story: it begins with John the Baptist and it ends with the resurrection appearances.

  1. First of all Bauckham has not yet established (merely hypothesised) that the gospels were the result of any “eyewitness” reports — after 5 chapters he has yet to point to a single item of evidence to justify this assertion;
  2. Secondly, Bauckham is guilty of limiting his study to the canonical gospels exclusively when we know that there were other gospels and these 4 were preserved because of their “orthodox” status and frequently heavily redacted over the years — compare the additional ending of Mark after 16:8 to make it conform to the “broad scope” of other gospels;
  3. Thirdly, it is perhaps debatable to assert that the four gospels broadly agree: John has the temple cleansing — a singular event — at the beginning, not the end, of the story; some gospels have the resurrection appearances in Galilee and others in Jerusalem; Mark has a secretive Jesus who hides his identity while John has one proclaiming his divinity at every opportunity; read more »