Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Votes Are In! The Next Topic: Who Wrote Mark?

Now from your voting it seems pretty clear you want me to write about the Gospel of Mark, where it fits and who wrote it. This is the most difficult and involved project of the choices, but  I accept the challenge.

The Gospel of Mark poses a unique problem for me, as there is very little unique material in the book that can be ascribed to Mark. Only a baker’s dozen verses are unique to Mark, and beyond that only a small number of phrases and some individual words. And some of this unique material is most likely part of a later Catholic layer that all books of the New Testament seem to have. As I write this I do not have the answers, and I think this will be a journey of discovery for all of us. I'll try to get the first  of what will probably be a two or three part work up before the Labor Day weekend is up. No promises however.

The Voting
Thanks to all thirteen of you who voted. I put the poll up to see how many people actually are reading the blog, and how many of the 800-900 views per month (and climbing) are real people and not robots. This gives me a decent estimate of my real audience, which is probably one to two dozen regulars, only a few who subscribe. I seem to have maybe twice that many who visit once or twice, which probably accounts for almost half the page count. The other half seems to robots programs and accidental visits.

That was important to me, because none of you have commented in several months, and I was feeling like I was talking to myself. I have tried to spiff up the blog with pictures and I plan to add some videos. This is entertainment for you guys. I make no pretension about this blog; nothing here is really at publishing standard, as it is a chance for me to work out what I am thinking by forcing it in public. Some of you have no doubt noticed that I from time to time update my articles, making corrections, fixing some atrocious grammar error, and in a few cases admitting faulty logic (the Gnostics article is a complete disaster, but I leave it up there to humble myself). Everything here is a work in progress. I personally view my analysis of Matthew chapter 5 dependency on Marcion’s Antithesis is the only significant piece (ok, Apostles and Bishops is an important relationship to also bring notice), not counting the Marcionite reconstructions. I do think both the Eclipse of 118 CE and the role of Hadrian in the formation of Christianity once reworked will become significant.

On the losing issues
I will probably not even put out a quick note on the so called Kitos Wars, as all that choice was about is my decision to adjust the blog description from “post Bar Kokhba era” to “the post Kitos and Bar Kokhba era” because the evidence suggests Marcion may have started his sect even before the Bar Kokhba revolt because his Gospel lacks the references to that conflict (desolation sacrilege and the wicked tenants) which are found in the other Synoptic Gospels. It doesn't require an article.

I am only too happy to put off my reconstructions of the remaining Marcionite Apostolikon. I want a break from that very tedious work. Still I will make a push after I work on Mark to get out Laodiceans, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, and my notes on Romans to effectively complete the collection (except Colossians which will be a major undertaking). Philemon will go out as a standalone article which I will push out this fall, where I will give a Marcionite exegesis of the entire Epistle – it actually makes good sense from a Marcionite viewpoint. (Note, my aim is to push out two book pairs, one of the Marcionite New Testament, Antithesis, Gospel, and Apostle, and then a companion book on the Marcionite authors and the Catholic Redactor)

I am a little disappointed there was only a little interest in the Gospel  of John, as my mindset was to go over the entire Abraham paradigm from the Marcionite/Apellean point of view and explain John chapters 7-8 as well as Lazarus and the Rich Man story in Luke and the meaning of Galatians 4:22-31 in Marcionite form. Abraham is very much part of the Marcionite religion and in a surprising way.

I am also disappointed that there was no interest in Excommunication. Matthew 5:25 gives an outline of exactly how the proto-orthodoxy handled heresy and what constituted it. The Gospel of John when talking about being tossed from the synagogues is specifically related to that – something that has been misread by traditional scholars as pointing toward the John group being an isolated community. It’s a fascinating subject about conditions of the church in the latter half of the second century. The Pastorals would also figure in this.

Readers Role
Guys, I do this blog for you as much as me. I'd like more of you to subscribe or at least comment. I take requests. Also I want to know how this blog is working on mobile devices, tablets, and so on. I am a software engineer and making a good web page is as much fun for me as the content.

Also if you guys have any opinions on Mark, the model of Synoptic Gospel Transmission, or anything else please write a comment. No question is stupid, and I will answer all of them. And again thanks for voting. 


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