Daily Archives: 2010-12-15 21:39:37 GMT+0000

Open invitation to Dr Maurice Casey

I invite Dr Maurice Casey to an online discussion or debate — an open exchange between himself and me in any blog or wiki or “live” public internet forum — about anything I have said in relation to his recent book, Jesus of Nazareth.

This all began when I had been wondering what happened to Mike Kok whose review of chapter 3 of Maurice Casey’s book I reviewed. The last time he visited this blog he dropped off a comment but failed to respond to my reply. I understand he has also failed to respond to others like this.) So in an idle moment I went looking and . . . .

I have just learned from a comment by Steph on the Sheffield blog that Dr Maurice Casey is to include in his forthcoming book responses to “the blogger Godfrey’s main arguments and ‘review’ there.” “There” is presumably this Vridar blog. (Ah yes, as Steph so often used to say, she cannot answer my arguments in a blog because it was “only a blog” and it would take a whole book to explain what is wrong with my arguments. So it looks like Casey, her mentor, is to produce the book she has been alluding to.) read more »

The Oral/Written Gospel (Finding Meaning in Mark’s “Bad Greek” . . . Pt.2)

Alan Kitty as Mark Twain
Image by pplflickr via Flickr

It is not easy to think of Mark as a literary genius when 410 of his Gospel’s 678 Greek verses or 376 of the 583 sentences begin with “and” (kai).

While much has been written about the history-changing impact of Mark being the first to compose a written gospel, there is much in this written gospel to suggest that it was meant to be orally delivered. It was written for an oral performance. (I am repeating here what I have read by a number of scholars, most recently Bilezekian. But I have reservations about this as an explanation for its grammatical roughness. Even polished and over-flowery texts were written for oral delivery. It might be more to the point to argue that Mark’s style indicates an intent to reproduce natural and unsophisticated speech.)

(I am losing my conviction that Mark was the earliest gospel, too. But that discussion can wait. The grammatical “crudities” of Mark can be explained in ways to fit either hypothesis.)

Gilbert G. Bilezekian (The Liberated Gospel) is one scholar who has advanced that the best explanation for the extremely repetitive “and” as the sentence-linker (the scholarly term for this is parataxis) throughout Mark’s Gospel is it reflects the colloquial spoken language of the day. read more »