James Crossley's blog Contact: jgcrossley10 - AT - yahoo - DOT - co - DOT - uk

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Danny Rocking

Now a response to Danny Deinde who should realise that there was presumably a Soviet side to the Rocky story...

What I find interesting about this is that this kingdom saying is left in the same sequential spot by all of the synoptics. Although Crossley pointed out some changes that Matthew and Luke made to Mark 9:1, they still narrated the Transfiguration directly after it. They were free not to do so. I think this at least substantiates my claim that they ought to be connected--they continued to be after Mark wrote them down.

What reasons would Luke or Matthew have to remove Mk 9:1 from the narrative setting? And Matthew changes it to the coming of the son of man, something he also thinks is future (Matt 24) so given Matt's change, how do we reconcile the two?

If the Transfiguration is confirming Jesus' authority on earth, how is this not confirming that the Kingdom is present when he is its inaugurator?

Where does it say that? It takes some creative reading to do that and the only reason that has a serious textual basis is that the kindgome saying comes just before it in the narrative. And in what sense is Jesus the inaugurator of the kingdom? He predicts it, yes, but it is God's kingdom and Matthew has to make a fairly dramtic change which presumably he wouldn't if it was obvious that Jesus role as the inaugurator was Markan.

Another point I made was the use of the perfect participle in Mark 9:1, "has come with power." As I said, the kingdom is present in Mark's narrative already (the already/not yet scenario that I think we both agree to). I think Mark 9:1 is talking about confirmation of something that "has (already) come with power".

Is it? How does this account for, '...there are some standing here who will not taste death until...'?

James used Mark 13:30 as an example of an imminent return prophecy (which ultimately was wrong). He asked, "what about 13:26? Has Danny divorced it from context by not mentioning it?"Perhaps I should have made it more clear, but in my first response I said, "Previous to 13:30, Jesus--in typical jewish apocalyptic language--has been describing the desolation and destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple."In other words, I think the entire section is talking about the Temple destruction, using popular Jewish apocalyptic themes. I don't think the quotation from Joel was signalling the destruction of the cosmos and Dan 7 signalling the final return of Jesus.

So what is the reference to Daniel 7:13 referring to? What exegetical traditions would support a reading that it is being used to refer to the Temple destruction?

Making this a prophecy of the second advent just adds a whole other can of worms that we would need to account for. I looked in some of my critical apparatus (admittedly briefly) and can't see any major changes made by later copiers and scribes- the same seems to hold true for the parallels in the other synoptics. Was no later Christian scribe bothered by this "failed prophecy?" This not only helps with the criterion of embarrassment, but it also indicates to me that perhaps this saying wasn't "embarrassing" at all. Perhaps Mark's readers, especially after 70 CE, recognized that the apocalyptic language of the olivet discourse was not talking about the end of the world or the second coming, but the final destruction of the Temple.

Again, how could the son of man coming on clouds after the destruction be understood as apocalyptic language for the destruction of the temple and not the second coming which we
know was anticpated? Compare Matt 24 and 1 Thess on this issue. As for non-changes, that matters little. John and 2 Peter provided all the justification Christians would need for the second coming not happening. They may not be the most wonderful arguments ever given but they would do.

To use this this as criterion for determining dating would push all of the synoptics to pre-70 CE, and there are some good indications that this is not the case (though I am very open to early dating). And even if this were a prophecy of the second coming, it does not give an adequate paradigm for helping us date Matthew, in my estimation.

On dates, maybe but not necessarily. Luke is still written in the aftermath of 70 in my estimation. Matt around 70. I have no problem with that and it is a big question that needs to be answered more broadly, esp. Matt - why does Matt have no problem with the second coming within a generation and heighten the expectation?

Matthew can say something odd like "you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes," (Matt 10:23) and not think it wrong.

And did they? And could this not just be hyperbole or not-wholly-literalistic?

To rub salt in Crossley's wounds, I will refer him to his mentor N. T. Wright's work, Jesus and Victory of God pp.360-65, and The New Testament and the People of God ch.10. Since these works are Crossley's second bible, it should resolve the matter fully. (Interestingly enough, I have not read through all of Wright's work and had not read these sections previously. We came to the conclusions separately--heretical minds think alike!)

Woah! Well now here's a counter...Read Crossley Date of Mark ch. 2 where I challenge Wright's readings on these very issues and show that the second coming was a much bigger issue than Wright claims, that people did read texts in much more literalistic ways, and that son of man exegesis was different to what Wright thinks (elsewhere in Date of Mark).

2 Pet, surely dated decades after the Temple falling, seems to be dealing with similar misunderstandings that paul dealt with in the Thessalonian letters.

But Jesus could still return within a generation despite 1 Thess. Not for 2 Pet though. A subtle but important difference I think.

This whole contention seems to have been a continuing problem both before and after the Temple was destroyed.c)"no one saw problems when Mark was written".

But again: no problems with the non-return of Jesus/kingdom of God within a generation.

Ayway, Rocky 3 was miles better than 4. That plea for world peace...urrhh

UPDATE: Danny has responded but so has Tim Lewis on a new blog for me (sorry, I'm slow like that), Source Theory. I'll get back to this soon-ish.


Anonymous Antonio Jerez said...

I managed to get hold of James "the date of Mark´s gospel" the other day. Haven´t been able too read it all yet. But Danny has obviously not read a word of the book since he aligns James Crossley with N T Wright. I think James does a wonderful demolishing job of Wright´s arguments for Mark 13 going back to Jesus. See pages 20-27.
The recent James Crossley-Danny debate also reminds me about an exchange me and Ricki Watts had on Xtalk from 21 sept 2005 to 30 sept 2005. I also objected to Wrightian arguments along the line that Mark 13:24-36 is a metaphorical way of describing the destruction of Jerusalem AD 70. I think I put forward pretty strong arguments - not the least I managed to finally make Ricki acknowledge that the "angels" in Mark 13:27 can hardly refer to human beings or christian missionaries.

February 18, 2007

Blogger Danny Zacharias said...

you are correct that I have not read his book, but I was joking when I aligned Crossley with Wright—I know he disagrees with him.

As I said on my most recent post, I am appreciating this interchange and discussion for clarifying my own thought. I am not handing down authoritative decrees that are set in my own stone. In fact, James is making me rethink this issue on precisely the point you mention.

A question: does xtalk aggregate one conversation all together? I hate having to search all over the place to try and read a conversation in chronological order and I would like to read some of your critique.


February 19, 2007

Blogger James Crossley said...

Thanks for those references Antonio, I'll have to read over them to see if Watts adds things to Wright but I suspect evidence will be on your side. Sometimes when I'm busy I've had to miss out on XTalk discussions but that sounds like one I should have paid attention to. Got to say, I do find it very hard to see Mark 13:24-36 referring to the fall of Jerusalem and I don't know of there being an early form Jewish exegesis where this kind of language is used to do the things Wright thinks. On the other hand, people probably did believe in clouds whizzing people around (against Wright) and people did believe that the son of man coming on clouds refers to the second coming.

February 19, 2007

Anonymous Antonio Jerez said...

I´ll be damned, James, but I just noticed that it was actually you who started off the discussion between me and Ricki on Xtalk about Mark 13:24-36. You wrote a message on 20 sept 2005 (no 19598) and then I followed on 22 sept.
As for Danny´s question about how to find the discussion in chronological order it is easily done. Just go to the Xtalk archives and enter my name in the search engine. Scroll backwards a bit through my messages and you will get to the thread named "Re:dating of Mark".

February 20, 2007

Blogger James Crossley said...

Oh no: if I can't remember that what am I going to be like 20 years from now?!!

February 25, 2007

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