WIFTA — What I Forgot to Add to my previous post (updated 27th Jan 07)
10.15 am 3rd Feb 07
This is about the craziest “problem” facing a modern scholar that I have ever heard: That the fact that some characters in the gospels are named while others are not is a “phenomenon” that cries out for explanation??? Come on, how many works of literature of any length, whether historical or nonhistorical, fictional or nonfictional, that do NOT feature such a “phenomenon”. It is plainly a simple matter of common literary competence not to name every person in a story featuring many persons — speaking generally — since it obviously would be simply too much clutter to have names for everyone. And in the case of the gospel of Mark, the first written of the gospels, then it is surely as clear as the nose on one’s face that the author has chosen to bring in names as often as not when they have symbolic value by way of mnemonic illustration of the story: e.g. Jairus, enlightened, for a miracle of raising back from ‘sleep’; Bartimaeus, a son of honour, for one raised from the status of beggar to a follower of the “royal son of David”. That such a phenomena should be considered something crying out for explanation is to dismiss the basics of western (and possibly broader than that, too) literary cultures.