The Aristotlean Tragedy of pMark
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14-12-2012, 08:34 AM
The Aristotlean Tragedy of pMark
As far as I can tell, my particular reconstruction of the historical Jesus is idiosyncratic. I explain this oddity as arising from the main source I use to profile the historical Jesus. This source is not readily apparent as it is what has previously been labeled as "gMark." "pMark," "proto-Mark," and "Ur-Markus." These terms all refer to the theory that there is an earlier version of Mark that has been editorially expanded and so produced the final form of the gospel.
I find evidence of its existence based on three considerations. First, I think that there is convincing evidence that an underlying text has been expanded to be found in three texts in particular. In all three cases, the narrative flow seems to be interrupted by some material, after which the narrative appears to be resumed. To illustrate this, I have put the suspected expansion in italics:
1) The insertion of the story of John the Baptizer's death:
7 And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits ; 8 and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff -no bread, no bag, no money in their belt - 9 but to wear sandals ; and He added, "Do not put on two tunics." 10 And He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11 "Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them." 12 They went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.
14 And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known ; and people were saying, "John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him." 15 But others were saying, "He is Elijah." And others were saying, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old." 16 But when Herod heard of it, he kept saying, "John, whom I beheaded, has risen !" 17 For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." 19 Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death and could not do so; 20 for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed ; but he used to enjoy listening to him. 21 A strategic day came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his lords and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee ; 22 and when the daughter of Herodias herself came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests ; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you." 23 And he swore to her, "Whatever you ask of me, I will give it to you; up to half of my kingdom." 24 And she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" And she said, "The head of John the Baptist." 25 Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter." 26 And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her. 27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison, 28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl ; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29 When his disciples heard about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb.
The apostles gathered together with Jesus ; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught.
2) Jesus' family comes to get him because he seems unbalanced:

20 And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. 21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, "He has lost His senses."
22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons." 23 And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan ? 24 "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 "If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 "If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished ! 27 "But no one can enter the strong man's house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. 28 "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter ; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin "- 30 because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit."
31 Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. 32 A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You." 33 Answering them, He said, "Who are My mother and My brothers ?" 34 Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers ! 35 "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother."
3) Jesus' assertion about an unknown exorcist:

33 They came to Capernaum ; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, "What were you discussing on the way ?" 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." 36 Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 37 "Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me."

38 John said to Him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us." 39 But Jesus said, "Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 "For he who is not against us is for us. 41 "For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
42 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
The second line of evidence is to identify those text which contain distinctive Markan motifs. These themes are characterized by the fact that they are so often repeated. The first is the highly repeat use of the adverb, euthus, which means, "immediately." The second is the often repeated idea that people were "amazed" at Jesus. To view a marked Gospel of Mark, go to this link:
The third line of evidence is found where I and at least one other contemporary scholar, Dominic Crossan, think that gMark ended in Mk 15:39 with the centurion's "epiphany" that Jesus was indeed a uios theou. For reason that I shall give below, I translate this phrase as, "a son of a god." Note that what immediately follows are the two episodes of Jesus' burial and resurrection, which are tied together by the actions of women. It is women who learn where Jesus was buried and women that come to the empty tomb. The continuity of these two episodes, linked by the action of women, begins immediately after the alleged conclusion of gMark, while the woman are not present before that. This difference provides an indication that it is a supplemental expansion.

Now if we worked back from the conclusion of gMark, we have a dramatic presentation of Jesus' attitude changing from one of extreme confidence and abject despair and possibly reaching the point of insanity. The height of Jesus' confidence is found is his answer to the second question of the high priest, "Are you the Messiah?" This is a dramatic crescendo in as far as that hitherto, Jesus has taken great efforts to avoid making an explicit Messianic claim. It especially stands in contrast to his evasion to answer by what authority he usurped that of the High Priest in his "cleansing" of the Temple. Now at last, he is put on the spot. His opponent finally have him where they want him. No more chance to evade this most critical question and answer:

Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" 62 And Jesus said, "I am ; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.

Due to the Markan expansions, and I think for theological reasons, Jesus' response is often not understood. The question is, when did Jesus expect his interrogator to see the fulfillment of this prophecy from Daniel 7:13 to which Jesus alludes? Here is the text in full:

13 "I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 "And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away ; And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.

I can think of no other text that so well presents the Messianic expectation.

But when does Jesus expect the high priest to witness the fulfillment of this prophecy? Answer, any second. It is in this way that Jesus backs the Messianic he just announced. Indeed, when Jesus usurped the high priest's authority over the Temple, the authority by which he did this was his Messianic authority had he chosen not to evade the question. But now, at this most dramatic moment, his unequivocal claim was to be immediately fulfilled by him doing so! Here is the height of Jesus' confidence, not only that he was indeed the Messiah, but that his claim will be vindicated any minute by a supernatural event that would establish him as Messiah and so usher in the Messianic Age.

But his expectation was sorely disappointed, for as he felt death coming on, he cried,
"ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI ?"
which is translated,
"MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"
So the plot develops from Jesus' attitude of supreme confidence to one of the most abject despair.( For Aristotle, plot was the most important feature of tragedy.) This was the essence of his passion.

But there is more. Our very skilled author wishes to convey, I think, that Jesus received an answer to his question. It was, "Because you are not the Messiah." Fate itself had answered his question and provided an inescapable conclusion. How does Jesus respond?

37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.
A loud cry. Here Jesus is portrayed as going insane. From the time of John's baptism, Jesus became convinced by it that he indeed was the Messiah. But now, he was forced to face the impossible conclusion that both himself and John were dead wrong. This was the crowing moment of gMark's portrayal Jesus as the Tragic Hero. Indeed, gMark's portrayal perfectly conforms to Aristotle's definition of the figure of a Tragic Hero. Here is a summary of the ingredients that go to comprise this archetypical figure:
"A tragic hero is a protagonist with a tragic flaw, also known as fatal flaw, which eventually leads to his demise. The concept of the tragic hero was created in ancient Greek tragedy and defined by Aristotle. Usually, the realization of fatal flaw results in catharsis or epiphany. The tragic flaw is sometimes referred to as an Achilles' heel after the single fatal flaw of the Greek warrior Achilles."
Aristotelian tragic hero:
"In a complex Aristotelian tragedy, the hero is of noble birth and is more admirable than ordinary men. He cannot, however, be morally perfect because the best plots arise when his downfall is the inevitable consequence of some defect in character (or tragic flaw).The spectacle of a good man dragged to destruction by a single error arouses in the audience both pity and fear, leading to the catharsis, a psychological state through which those emotions are purged; the audience leaves the theater relieved, or even exalted, rather than depressed."

Characteristics:

An Aristotelian tragic hero must have four characteristics:

Nobleness (of a noble birth) or wisdom (by virtue of birth).

Hamartia (translated as tragic flaw, somewhat related to hubris, but denoting excess in behavior or mistakes).

A reversal of fortune (peripetia) brought about because of the hero's tragic error.

The discovery or recognition that the reversal was brought about by the hero's own actions (anagnorisis).

Other common traits:

Hero must suffer more than he deserves.

Hero must be doomed from the start, but bear no responsibility for possessing his flaw.

Hero must be noble in nature, but imperfect so that the audience can see themselves in him.

Hero must have discovered his fate by his own actions, not by things happening to him.

Hero must see and understand his doom, as well as the fact that his fate was discovered by his own actions.

Hero's story should arouse fear and empathy.

Hero must be physically or spiritually wounded by his experiences, often resulting in his death.

Ideally, the hero should be a king or leader of men, so that his people experience his fall with him.

The hero must be intelligent so he may learn from his mistakes.

This nearly perfect portrayal of gMark of Jesus as Aristotle's Tragic Hero shows that the author was both familiar with it and a skilled "playwright." It has been suggested by someone that it was none other than Seneca, or someone very much like him, who composed what we know as gMark. The question then becomes, was the actual events of Jesus' passion molded into Aristotle's tragic hero, or did Jesus live out the actual experience upon which Aristotle developed his character? Certainly, non-historical elements are present in the story. But how much is based upon historical event?

I will leave this question with the reader.

The author has portrayed Jesus as a Messianic Pretender who was the epitome of the Tragic Hero. The author's own assessment is voiced in the Centurion's epiphany. Jesus was certainly "a son of a god." I translate this way because it is intended to express what a Roman point of view. In gMark's estimation, Jesus ended up being tortured by a subscription to Messianic apocalyptisim that finally betrayed him in a most pathetic way. Even so, from a Roman point of view, he was a transcendent being, belonging to that class of person who stand above his fellow men. In this, the author gave Jesus the highest rating that he could.

Let me note that a dominant feature of this portrayal is the presence of "dramatic irony," or a surprising outcome. The Sanhedrin was right. Jesus was wrong. Jesus' own executioner voices the epiphany.

This portrayal I feel compelled to say, offers a more sublime story than Christian gospel. Instead of a divine comedy, it is a searing, most pathetic tragedy. So which is to be commended? I side with Aristotle. I prefer the latter.
God have mercy on the man,
who doubts what he's sure of.
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14-12-2012, 11:01 PM
RE: The Aristotlean Tragedy of pMark
Welcome to the forum.

Have you met Bucky Ball? He and a few other TTA scholars will be able to add value to the above.

For many here, I fear, this will be too much to digest.

Please do not become disillusioned if you don't get many responses.

We have a growing resource library that I think you can help with...

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ce-Library


Again, welcome.

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15-12-2012, 01:49 AM
RE: The Aristotlean Tragedy of pMark
Interesting. I have to read it more carefully. Mark Fulton should read it too, and hopefully comment. Welcome. Tongue

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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15-12-2012, 04:50 AM
RE: The Aristotlean Tragedy of pMark
(14-12-2012 11:01 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Welcome to the forum.

Have you met Bucky Ball? He and a few other TTA scholars will be able to add value to the above.

For many here, I fear, this will be too much to digest.

Please do not become disillusioned if you don't get many responses.

We have a growing resource library that I think you can help with...

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...ce-Library


Again, welcome.
Thank you, sir.
LM
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16-12-2012, 06:49 AM
RE: The Aristotlean Tragedy of pMark
(15-12-2012 01:49 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Interesting. I have to read it more carefully. Mark Fulton should read it too, and hopefully comment. Welcome. Tongue
Thank you.
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16-12-2012, 06:55 AM
RE: The Aristotlean Tragedy of pMark
Here is where I find pMark currently:


Here is my presentation of my demarcation of pMark. The translation chosen is the NASB because of its literal approach of formal correspondence as opposed to dynamic equivalence. Of course, the material I assign to Mark's redaction is all the material excluded from that below. If my analysis is approximately correct, not only is a study of pMark is at hand, so also is a redaction-critical study of Mark.

************************************************************

1:2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet : "BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY ; 3 THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.' "
4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 6 John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey. 7 And he was preaching, and saying, "After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.

Jesus Preaches in Galilee

14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand."

32 When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. 33 And the whole city had gathered at the door. 34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons ; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. 35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions searched for Him; 37 they found Him, and said to Him, "Everyone Is looking for You." 38 He said to them, "Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also ; for that is what I came for." 39 And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.

2:15 And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples ; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, "Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners ?" 17 And hearing this, Jesus asid to them, "It Is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick ; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

18 John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting ; and they came and said to Him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast ?" 19 And Jesus said to them, 21 "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment ; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. 22 "No one puts new wine into old wineskins ; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins."

Question of the Sabbath

23 And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees were saying to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath ?" 25 And He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry ; 26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?" 27 Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

The Twelve Are Chosen

3:13 And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons. 16 And He appointed the twelve : Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter ), 17 and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, "Sons of Thunder "); 18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot ; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.

20 And He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal. 21 When His own people heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, "He has lost His senses. 31 Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called Him. 32 A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, "Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are outside looking for You." 33 Answering them, He said, "Who are My mother and My brothers ?" 34 Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, "Behold My mother and My brothers ! 35 "For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.

21 And He was saying to them, "A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed ? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand 22 "For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light. 23 "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."

24 And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. 25 "For whoever has, to him more shall be given ; and whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."

Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 And He said, "How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? 31 "It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, 32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches ; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE." 33 With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; 34 and He did not speak to them without a parable ; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.

The Twelve Sent Out

3:17 And He summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits ; 8 and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff -no bread, no bag, no money in their belt - 9 but to wear sandals ; and He added, "Do not put on two tunics." 10 And He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town. 11 "Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them." 12 They went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.

30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus ; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while."

Followers of Tradition

7:1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, 2 and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders ; 4 and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) 5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands ?" 6 And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written : 'THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 7 'BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.' 8 "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." 9 He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. 10 "For Moses said, 'HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER '; and, 'HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH '; 11 but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),' 12 you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother ; 13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down ; and you do many things such as that."

The Heart of Man

14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, "Listen to Me, all of you, and understand : 15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 16 "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."

17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18 And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also ? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated ?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy , slander, pride and foolishness. 23 "All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."

8:11 The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, seeking from Him a sign from heaven, to test Him. 12 Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, "Why does this generation seek for a sign ? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And they brought a blind man to Jesus and implored Him to touch him. 23 Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village ; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything ?" 24 And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around." 25 Then again He laid His hands on his eyes ; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. 26 And He sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village."

Peter's Confession of Christ

27 Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi ; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, "Who do people say that I am ?" 28 They told Him, saying, "John the Baptist ; and others say Elijah ; but others, one of the prophets." 29 And He continued by questioning them, "But who do you say that I am ?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ." 30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him.

9:33 They came to Capernaum ; and when He was in the house, He began to question them, "What were you discussing on the way?" 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."

10:1 Getting up, He went from there to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan ; crowds gathered around Him again, and, according to His custom, He once more began to teach them. 2 Some Pharisees came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife. 3 And He answered and said to them, "What did Moses command you?" 4 They said, "Moses permitted a man TO WRITE A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY." 5 But Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 "But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. 7 "FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, 8 AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all." 16 And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.

The Rich Young Ruler

17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life ?" 18 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good ? No one is good except God alone. 19 "You know the commandments, 'DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, Do not defraud, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.' " 20 And he said to Him, "Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up." 21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, "One thing you lack : go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven ; and come, follow Me." 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

Jesus enters Jerusalem and drives out the money changers

11:15 Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves ; 16 and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. 17 And He began to teach and say to them, "Is it not written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS '? But you have made it a ROBBERS' DEN." 18 The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him. 19 When evening came, they would go out of the city.

Jesus' Authority Questioned

27 They came again to Jerusalem. And as He was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to Him, 28 and began saying to Him, "By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things ?" 29 And Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question, and you answer Me, and then I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 "Was the baptism of John from heaven, or from men ? Answer Me." 31 They began reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say, 'Then why did you not believe him?' 32 "But shall we say, 'From men '?"-they were afraid of the people, for everyone considered John to have been a real prophet. 33 Answering Jesus, they said, "We do not know." And Jesus said to them, "Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things."

Jesus Answers the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes

12:13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14 They came and said to Him, "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one ; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 "Shall we pay or shall we not pay ?" But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, "Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at." 16 They brought one. And He said to them, "Whose likeness and inscription is this ?" And they said to Him, "Caesar's." 17 And Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

18 Some Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection ) came to Jesus, and began questioning Him, saying, 19 "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN'S BROTHER DIES and leaves behind a wife AND LEAVES NO CHILD, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER. 20 "There were seven brothers ; and the first took a wife, and died leaving no children. 21 "The second one married her, and died leaving behind no children ; and the third likewise ; 22 and so all seven left no children. Last of all the woman died also. 23 "In the resurrection, when they rise again, which one's wife will she be? For all seven had married her." 24 Jesus said to them, "Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God ? 25 "For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26 "But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, and the God of Jacob '? 27 "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living ; you are greatly mistaken."

28 One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all ?" 29 Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'HEAR, O ISRAEL ! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD ; 30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' 31 "The second is this, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 The scribe said to Him, "Right, Teacher ; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM; 33 AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE'S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.

35 And Jesus began to say, as He taught in the temple, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David ? 36 "David himself said in the Holy Spirit, 'THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET."' 37 "David himself calls Him 'Lord '; so in what sense is He his son ?" And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him. 38 In His teaching He was saying : "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, 39 and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, 40 who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers ; these will receive greater condemnation."

The Widow's Mite

41 And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury ; and many rich people were putting in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. 43 Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury ; 44 for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on."

Death Plot

14:1 Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away ; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; 2 for they were saying, "Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people."
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. 11 They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.

[No pMark episode of arrest]

53 They led Jesus away to the high priest ; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes gathered together
.
Jesus before His Accusers

55 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any. 56 For many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony was not consistent. 57 Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, 58 "We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.' " 59 Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent. 60 The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, "Do You not answer ? What is it that these men are testifying against You?" 61 But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" 62 And Jesus said, "I am ; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."

63 Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, "What further need do we have of witnesses ? 64 "You have heard the blasphemy ; how does it seem to you?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. 65 Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, "Prophesy !" And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.
15:1 Early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation ; and binding Jesus, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate. 2 Pilate questioned Him, "Are You the King of the Jews ?" And He answered him, "It is as you say." 3 The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly. 4 Then Pilate questioned Him again, saying, "Do You not answer ? See how many charges they bring against You!" 5 But Jesus made no further answer.

6 Now at the feast he used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested. 7 The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection. 8 The crowd went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them. 9 Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews ?" 10 For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead. 12 Answering again, Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews ?" 13 They shouted back, "Crucify Him!" 14 But Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done ?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify Him!" 15 Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Jesus Is Mocked

16 The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium ), and they called together the whole Roman cohort. 17 They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; 18 and they began to acclaim Him, "Hail, King of the Jews !" 19 They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. 20 After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. 21 They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus ), to bear His cross.

The Crucifixion

22 Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh ; but He did not take it. 24 And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take.

25 It was the third hour when they crucified Him. 26 The inscription of the charge against Him read, "THE KING OF THE JEWS." 27 They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. 28 [And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with transgressors."] 29 Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, "Ha ! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross !" 31 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, "He delivered others ; He cannot deliver Himself. 32 "Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe !" Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.

33 When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI ?" which is translated, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" 35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, "Behold, He is calling for Elijah." 36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down."

37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. 38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was a son of a god."
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