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Author Topic: Evangelist Mark's writing style  (Read 855 times) Average Rating: 0
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Theophilos78
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« on: September 02, 2013, 07:27:56 PM »

What distinguishes the Gospel of Mark from the other two Synoptic Gospels? (Mark's peculiar writing style)

1) Old Testament quotation in regard to the Baptist's ministry

For he is the one about whom Isaiah the prophet had spoken: “The voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:3)

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one shouting in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low, and the crooked will be made straight, and the rough ways will be made smooth, and all humanity will see the salvation of God.’” (Luke 3:4-6)

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way, the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’” (Mark 1:2-3)

Unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark referred to two different yet thematically related prophecies while introducing the Baptist's mission. Now about this prophecy NET Bible presents the following footnote:

tc Instead of “in Isaiah the prophet” the majority of mss read “in the prophets” (A W Ë13 Ï Irlat). Except for Irenaeus (2nd century), the earliest evidence for this is thus from the 5th (or possibly late 4th) century (W A). The difficulty of Irenaeus is that he wrote in Greek but has been preserved largely in Latin. His Greek remains have “in Isaiah the prophet.” Only the later Latin translation has “in the prophets.” The KJV reading is thus in harmony with the majority of late mss. On the other hand, the witnesses for “in Isaiah the prophet” (either with the article before Isaiah or not) are early and geographically widespread: א B D L Δ Θ Ë1 33 565 700 892 1241 2427 al syp co Ir. This evidence runs deep into the 2nd century, is widespread, and is found in the most important Alexandrian, Western, and Caesarean witnesses. The “Isaiah” reading has a better external pedigree in every way. It has the support of the earliest and best witnesses from all the texttypes that matter. Moreover it is the harder reading, since the quotation in the first part of the verse appears to be from Exod 23:20 and Mal 3:1, with the quotation from Isa 40:3 coming in the next verse. The reading of the later mss seems motivated by a desire to resolve this difficulty. https://net.bible.org/#!bible/Mark+1

If I am not mistaken, Byzantine text also has the word prophet in plural form on account of the reference to two different prophets. This is one of the rare instances where Evangelist Mark did something peculiar to himself and combined two different quotations. Interestingly, even in John, the Baptist is said to have quoted about himself the particular prophecy from Isaiah, saying nothing about the relevant prophecy in Malachi.

Then they said to him, “Who are you? Tell us so that we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” John said, “I am the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” (John 1:22-23)

Here we have got 2 possibilities:


a) Mark did not specifically mention Isaiah, but some scribes altered his original phrase "the prophets" to "Isaiah the prophet" because this alteration would serve to bring the Gospel of Mark closer to all of the other Gospel accounts on this theme.

b)
Mark indeed wrote "Isaiah the prophet", but some scribes altered this to "the prophets" because they considered this combined quotation problematic as the first sentence quoted by Mark does not occur in Isaiah. 

Some critics of the Bible accuse Mark of making a mistake. Here are rebuttals to such claims: http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/shamoun/rebuttals/ibnanwar/mark_isaiah_attribution.html  and http://www.answering-islam.org/Responses/Menj/mark-correct.htm

I also tend to believe that Mark purposefully combined these two prophecies, and even the reading "in Isaiah the prophet" does not reveal a mistake. Mark may have known (through oral tradition) that all the Evangelists would specifically refer to Isaiah's book. More interestingly, both Matthew and Luke contain the particular prophecy in Malachi 3:1 with some pronouns taken from Exodus 23:20:

What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: ‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ (Matthew 11:9-10)

What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ (Luke 7:26-27)

Thus, the reference to Malachi 3:1 was directly made by Yeshua while He was testifying to the Baptist. Since this particular narrative was NOT recorded by Mark, Yeshua's reference was integrated into the scriptural reference (Isaiah's prophecy) given in the account of the Baptist's ministry.
 
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 11:17:43 AM »

2) Significance of Capernaum in Jesus' ministry

According to Evangelist Mark, Yeshua revealed His authority and power when He entered a synagogue in Capernaum on the Sabbath (Mark 1:21-28). This is in harmony with what Evangelist Matthew said about Capernaum:

Now when Jesus heard that John had been imprisoned, he went into Galilee. While in Galilee, he moved from Nazareth to make his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way by the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and on those who sit in the region and shadow of death a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach this message:  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:12-17)

Apparently, Evangelist Luke differed from Matthew and Mark when he wrote that Yeshua paid a visit to His hometown Nazareth when He began His public ministry in Galilee (Luke 4:16-30). However, it is implicit in Yeshua's words recorded in Luke that He had already performed miracles in Capernaum before coming to Nazareth:

Jesus said to them, “No doubt you will quote to me the proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ and say, ‘What we have heard that you did in Capernaum, do here in your hometown too.’” (Luke 4:23)

This statement implies that Luke did not follow a chronological order while recounting Yeshua's visit to His hometown and wanted Nazareth to represent Israel whereas Capernaum the Gentiles.

Interestingly, it was only Mark to explicitly state that Yeshua healed the paralytic in Capernaum and that this incident actually took place in Yeshua's home. To compare and contrast:

After getting into a boat he crossed to the other side and came to his own town. Just then some people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Have courage, son! Your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:1-2)

Now on one of those days, while he was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting nearby (who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem), and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men showed up, carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They were trying to bring him in and place him before Jesus. (Luke 5:17-18)

Now after some days, when he returned to Capernaum, the news spread that he was at home. So many gathered that there was no longer any room, not even by the door, and he preached the word to them. Some people came bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. (Mark 2:1-3)

Matthew expected his readers to understand that Yeshua's own town mentioned in the account of the healed paralytic was Capernaum because he had already related Yeshua's settlement in Capernaum at the beginning of His ministry (Matthew 4:12-17) and said that Yeshua went to His own town by boat (Matthew 9:1). Luke did not say anything specific about the place where this healing occurred. Mark, on the other hand, did not only talk of Yeshua's voyage to Capernaum, but also said that Yeshua healed the person in His own home. (Matthew did not state that the paralytic was healed in Yeshua's house.) Thus, Mark also taught that Yeshua lived in Capernaum although he did not refer to the prophecy quoted by Matthew about the Gentile territory and did not explictly relate Yeshua's settlement in Capernaum.
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 06:42:37 PM »

3) Abiathar the High Priest?

According to Mark, Yeshua made the following statement while teaching the Pharisees that the Son of Man was the Lord/Adonai of the Sabbath:

He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry – how he entered the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the sacred bread, which is against the law for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to his companions?” (Mark 2:25-26)

Although both Matthew and Luke recorded the same speech, they did not say that Yeshua referred to the days of Abiathar the high priest. To contrast:

He said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry – how he entered the house of God and they ate the sacred bread, which was against the law for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests? (Matthew 12:3-4)

Jesus answered them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry – how he entered the house of God, took and ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful for any to eat but the priests alone, and  gave it to his companions?” (Luke 6:3-4)

Thus, Mark was the only Evangelist to mention the name Abiathar in Yeshua's speech. However, this reference to Abiathar the high priest is problematic since the account in the Tanakh makes it clear that David talked to Ahimelech, Abiathar's father, rather than Abiathar.  NET Bible has the following footnote on this problem:

footnote 52: A decision about the proper translation of this Greek phrase (ἐπὶ ᾿Αβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως, ejpi Abiaqar ajrcierew") is very difficult for a number of reasons. The most natural translation of the phrase is “when Abiathar was high priest,” but this is problematic because Abiathar was not the high priest when David entered the temple and ate the sacred bread; Ahimelech is the priest mentioned in 1 Sam 21:1-7. Three main solutions have been suggested to resolve this difficulty. (1) There are alternate readings in various manuscripts, but these are not likely to be original: D W {271} it sys and a few others omit ἐπὶ ᾿Αβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως, no doubt in conformity to the parallels in Matt 12:4 and Luke 6:4; {A C Θ Π Σ Φ 074 Ë13 and many others} add τοῦ before ἀρχιερέως, giving the meaning “in the days of Abiathar the high priest,” suggesting a more general time frame. Neither reading has significant external support and both most likely are motivated by the difficulty of the original reading. (2) Many scholars have hypothesized that one of the three individuals who would have been involved in the transmission of the statement (Jesus who uttered it originally, Mark who wrote it down in the Gospel, or Peter who served as Mark’s source) was either wrong about Abiathar or intentionally loose with the biblical data in order to make a point. (3) It is possible that what is currently understood to be the most natural reading of the text is in fact not correct. (a) There are very few biblical parallels to this grammatical construction (ἐπί + genitive proper noun, followed by an anarthrous common noun), so it is possible that an extensive search for this construction in nonbiblical literature would prove that the meaning does involve a wide time frame. If this is so, “in the days of Abiathar the high priest” would be a viable option. (b) It is also possible that this phrasing serves as a loose way to cite a scripture passage. There is a parallel to this construction in Mark 12:26: “Have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush?” Here the final phrase is simply ἐπὶ τοῦ βάτου (ejpi tou batou), but the obvious function of the phrase is to point to a specific passage within the larger section of scripture. Deciding upon a translation here is difficult. The translation above has followed the current consensus on the most natural and probable meaning of the phrase ἐπὶ ᾿Αβιαθὰρ ἀρχιερέως: “when Abiathar was high priest.” It should be recognized, however, that this translation is tentative because the current state of knowledge about the meaning of this grammatical construction is incomplete, and any decision about the meaning of this text is open to future revision.

People who consider this reference historically inaccurate or anachronistic, generally tend to put the blame on one of the scribes who transmitted the text or on Mark the Evangelist. It is only secular liberals or critics who ascribe this alleged error to Yeshua Himself. Several diccussions have been made and various solutions have been proposed, which shows that it is not possible to be certain about what actually happened or what Mark meant or even why he wrote Abiathar instead of Ahimelech. Here's an article discussing all the theories related to this alleged problem: http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2011/08/the-problem-of-abiathar-in-mark-2-26/

Some people, on the other hand, do not consider this reference problematic or erroneous since Yeshua did not say "it was Abiathar who gave David the sacred bread". This is why it is possible to speculate that Abiathar was present when this incident occurred and he persuaded his father to help David and his companions. Besides, some interpret Abiathar's designation as "High Priest" in a different sense. For example:

To begin, the description of Abiathar as "high priest" is not titular. Neither Ahimelech nor Abiathar are ever given the title in the OT, though it is clear that Abiathar served as a leading priest (along with Zadok) and Ahimelech may have ranked highly as well.

The word for "high priest" is archiereus, a combination of hiereus, or priest, and arche, a word most often meaning "beginning" but also meaning supreme in rank or order.

Maurice Casey, in his book Aramaic Sources of Mark's Gospel, sees behind this language an Aramaic description that for us would be too literally rendered in Greek. It does not mean Abiathar was "high priest" but indicates that he was a great priest, a renowned priest.

That much is obviously true. Abiathar served David for the entirety of his reign of 40 years and had the privilege, along with Zadok, of carrying the Ark of the Covenant, the most sacred Jewish religious object. As a renowned priest, it is expected that in his days, the Law would be correctly observed [Casey, 151] and his name would invoke the honoring of the Law.

Jesus mentions Abiathar in order to say, in effect, "In the time of Abiathar, who as a renowned priest was a real stickler for the Law, and in whose days we would expect the Law to be followed, David and his friends were allowed to do this; yet, now you say that we can't do something similar?” Are you a better judge of the Law than Abiathar and his contemporaries were?"
http://www.tektonics.org/tsr/abby.html

Again, some people regard this statement as an example of a literary device named prolepsis:

As opposed to assuming an historical anachronism, one can validly interpret Jesus’ words as a prolepsis. Prolepsis is a literary device which was commonly used both in ancient literature and today. This literary device encompasses anticipatory assigning of a title or name to something or someone at a time in which such title or name wasn’t actually used for the thing or person in question.

For example, I could say that, “During the time when the Apostle Paul was occupied with his intense early studies of rabbinic traditions…” However, Paul wasn’t an Apostle during that time, nor was he called Paul (he was called Saul), and yet no one who knows anything about literary devices would accuse me of error. They would realize that I am speaking proleptically, i.e. referring to Paul by a title and name which were only given to him at a later period of his life.
  http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/thompson/rebuttals/ibnanwar/abiathar.html

Interestingly, the Jewish encyclopedia now designates Abiathar as the High Priest of those days in harmony with the explanation above:

The rescue of the chief priest Abiathar, in the massacre of the priests of Nob ordered by Saul, was fortunate for the house of David; for if he had lost his life, David's descendants would through divine retaliation have been entirely wiped out of existence at the hands of Athaliah (Sanh. 95b). http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/265-abiathar

To make things more complicated, the names Abiathar and Ahimelech are used interchangeably in the Tanakh. For instance:

The scribe Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, wrote down their names before the king, the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the leaders of the priestly and Levite families. One family was drawn by lot from Eleazar, and then the next from Ithamar. (1 Chronicles 24:6)

What may have caused this confusion? A more relevant question is whether Mark or the early scribes copying this narrative fell into confusion or mistakenly presumed that Abiathar was really Ahimelech's alternative name. A plausible reason is that these scribes established a typological connection between the name Abiathar and its meaning in Hebrew. Since Abiathar means "Father of Many/Plenty", they concluded that Ahimelech was the father of the many priests, thus the head of the priestly family at that time.

Apart from this possibility, I tend to believe that Yeshua's reference to Abiathar instead of Ahimelech was deliberate since at that time Ahimelech represented King Saul whilst Abiathar King David and Abiathar was the only person that had escaped the massacre of the priests. If Yeshua had mentioned Ahimelech, the Pharisees could have objected and claimed that Ahimelech was murdered because he had violated the rules by sharing with David the sacred bread.

Finally, the claim that Matthew omitted this particular reference to Abiathar in Mark because he wanted to correct this mistake makes little sense, if any. Matthew did not need to repeat Yeshua's reference to a priestly figure at the time because he uniquely recorded Yeshua's statements regarding all the priests and their violation of the Sabbath rule:

Or have you not read in the law that the priests in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are not guilty? (Matthew 12:5)

In the light of this verse it seems probable that Matthew chose to omit Yeshua's reference to Abiathar the high priest since he separately recorded Yeshua's particular example regarding the violation of the Sabbath by religious authority.
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 03:25:25 PM »

4) The list of the 12 Apostles

The list of the Twelve Apostles in the Gospel of Mark has two peculiarities although it is mostly similar to the list given by Evangelist Matthew. The main difference is that Mark did not give the name of the apostles in pairs, unlike Matthew and Luke, and therefore did not place Andrew second right after his brother Peter. In Matthew and Luke Peter is followed by Andrew and James by John since Andrew made a pair with Peter due to his being Peter's brother. To compare and contrast:

Mark: Simon Peter, James, John, Andrew, ...
Matthew: Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, ...
Luke: Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, ...

Consequently, Andrew is the 4th apostle in Mark whereas 2nd in both Matthew and Luke. The reason underlying this difference is probably that Evangelist Mark arranged the list in accordance with the three apostles that were closer to Yeshua than the other apostles and constituted His A team. We read in the New Testament that on three different occasions Yeshua took with Himself only three of His apostles, namely, Peter, James, and John:

*While bringing Jairus' daughter back to life
*At the Transfiguration
*While praying in agony in the Garden of Gethsamane

Second, Mark is the only Evangelist to reveal that Yeshua gave an alternate name not only to Simon, but also James and John, who were two of the three figures in the inner circle of Yeshua's apostles:

He appointed twelve: To Simon he gave the name Peter; to James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee, he gave the name Boanerges (that is, “sons of thunder”); and Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Mark 3:16-19)

Even though we are not told when and why Yeshua gave the name "Sons of thunder" to James and John, we are free to entertain the possibility that this single name ascribed to these two brothers was related to their faith and discipleship in a similar way the name Peter was related to Simon's faith.
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 09:00:30 PM »

5) The Parable of the Growing Seed

This short parable, which bears strong resemblance to the parable of the sower, was recorded only by Mark:

He also said, “The kingdom of God is like someone who spreads seed on the ground. He goes to sleep and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. By itself the soil produces a crop, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. And when the grain is ripe, he sends in the sickle because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)

The parable of the growing seed also precedes the parable of the mustard seed and forms a pair with it since both these parables focus on the idea of growth. However, the former, which is peculiar to Mark, stresses that the seed grows by itself without the knowledge of the sower. NET Bible has the following comment:

This parable is found only in Mark (cf. Matt 13:24-30) and presents a complete picture of the coming of God’s kingdom: (1) sowing; (2) growth; (3) harvest. Some understand the parable as a reference to evangelism. While this is certainly involved, it does not seem to be the central idea. In contrast to the parable of the sower which emphasizes the quality of the different soils, this parable emphasizes the power of the seed to cause growth (with the clear implication that the mysterious growth of the kingdom is accomplished by God), apart from human understanding and observation.
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 02:47:47 PM »

6) Yeshua's visit to His hometown Nazareth- Part 1

Mark was the only Evangelist

a) to designate Yeshua as a carpenter and
b) make no reference to Joseph the carpenter.

Then he came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother named Mary? And aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? And aren’t all his sisters here with us? Where did he get all this?” (Matthew 13:54-56)

All were speaking well of him, and were amazed at the gracious words coming out of his mouth. They said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:22)

Now Jesus left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue. Many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did he get these ideas? And what is this wisdom that has been given to him? What are these miracles that are done through his hands? Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters here with us?” And so they took offense at him. (Mark 6:1-3)

These two points were probably meant to be relevant: Evangelist Mark identified Yeshua as a carpenter as he did not talk of Joseph, who was Yeshua's foster father. As for the question why Mark did not make a single reference to Joseph remains a mystery if we do not reckon few speculations. Mark did not mention Joseph most probably because he did not talk of the period preceding Yeshua's prophetic mission and did not relate the virgin birth. However, the Gospel of John does not include the account of Mary's miraculous pregnancy either, yet one of Yeshua's first disciples is said to have identified Him as the Son of Joseph (John 1:45). Another possibility is that Mark simply wanted to link the account of Yeshua's rejection in Nazareth to the previous account about Yeshua's true family:

Then Jesus’ mother and his brothers came. Standing outside, they sent word to him, to summon him. A crowd was sitting around him and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are outside looking for you.” He answered them and said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who were sitting around him in a circle, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)

Here we have Yeshua's mother, brothers, and sisters, yet nothing is said about his father. This could be the reason why the people of Nazareth did not refer to Joseph while talking of Yeshua's family and relatives. 
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2013, 10:42:15 AM »

6) Yeshua's visit to His hometown Nazareth- Part 2

Quote
Then Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, and among his relatives, and in his own house.” He was not able to do a miracle there, except to lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed because of their unbelief (Mark 6:4-6)


We read only in the Gospel of Mark that Yeshua was unable to perform miracles in Nazareth. This is brought up by some Muslim apologists to support the assertion that Yeshua was not almighty. Shabir Ally is one of such Muslim propagandists:

Quote
Christians and Muslims agree that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. The Gospels show that Jesus was not all-powerful, for he had some limitations. Mark tells us in his gospel that Jesus was unable to do any powerful work in his hometown (ch. 6, vv. 5-6). ...     Therefore, although we have the utmost love and respect for Jesus, we need to understand that he is not the all-powerful God.
http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Shabir-Ally/omnipotent.htm

Sam Shamoun, an author of the Answering Islam team, responded to Shabir Ally:

Quote
Had Shabir read more carefully he would have discovered the fallacy in his argument. Let us quote Mark in context and see why Jesus was unable to perform any miracles in his hometown:

    "Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. 'Where did this man get these things?' they asked. 'What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?' And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, 'Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.' He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people AND HEAL THEM. And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits." Mark 6:1-7

The point that Mark is making is not that Jesus could not perform miracles because of his lack of power, but due to the people's lack of faith. Hence, Christ would not perform a miracle to please the unbelieving crowds. Yet, Mark is quick to mention that Jesus did perform a few miracles of healing before departing. He even mentions Jesus' ability to grant authority to his disciples to perform miracles such as casting out demons! If anything, this reinforces the point that Jesus is in fact all-powerful!
  http://answering-islam.org/Responses/Shabir-Ally/omnipotent.htm

In agreement with this explanation, it is possible to say that Mark  chose to stress more than the other Evangelists how lack of faith affected Yeshua. It seems this is a peculiarity of this Gospel since Yeshua's response recorded by Mark to those who asked Him to show a sign from above is in harmony with this teaching:  "I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to this generation" (Mark 8:12)
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2013, 11:20:21 AM »

What's with the "Yeahua"? Are you a Jew?
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 04:56:37 PM »

What's with the "Yeahua"? Are you a Jew?
I am an apostolic Christian who prefers the Hebrew word Yeshua to the English word Jesus.  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 04:58:25 PM »

But why "Yeshua" and not other Hebrew words? 
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« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 05:15:29 PM »

7) John the Baptist's Death

If we compare the account of the Baptist's martyrdom in Mark with the one in Matthew, we see that Mark wanted to underline Herodias' hostility to the Baptist and mark the contrast between Herod and his wife in regard to their attitude towards this prophetic figure:

For Herod himself had sent men, arrested John, and bound him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had repeatedly told Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” So Herodias nursed a grudge against him and wanted to kill him. But she could not because Herod stood in awe of John and protected him, since he knew that John was a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard him, he was thoroughly baffled, and yet he liked to listen to John. (Mark 6:17-20)

This bolded section does not occur in the Gospel of Matthew. Actually, Matthew said that Herod, very much like his wife, wanted to kill the Baptist, but failed to do so because he was afraid of the Jews who considered the Baptist a prophet:

For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had repeatedly told him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although Herod wanted to kill John, he feared the crowd because they accepted John as a prophet. (Matthew 14:3-5)

Interestingly, Matthew said that his wife's plot concerning the Baptist's death bothered him a lot, yet did not explain the reason:

But on Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Instructed by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” Although it grieved the king, because of his oath and the dinner guests he commanded it to be given. (Matthew 14:6-9)

Thus, Matthew expected his readers to infer that Herod changed his mind about the Baptist and started to respect and protect him after hearing his preaching in prison. Mark, on the other hand, stated this detail explicitly.
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 05:18:53 PM »

But why "Yeshua" and not other Hebrew words? 

Because it is the most significant name in the Bible. Besides, I sometimes use the word Miriam instead of Mary, Adonai instead of Lord, Elohim instead of God, or Hashem while referring to the one true God of Israel.  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 05:42:30 PM »

I am an apostolic Christian

Glad to hear you're still Orthodox  Smiley

Hashem while referring to the one true God of Israel.  Smiley

HaShem ("the Name") is used by Jews who do not want to say or write the name of God, yet you have "Yahwist" written under "Faith". A bit redundant, no?
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 06:07:42 PM »


HaShem ("the Name") is used by Jews who do not want to say or write the name of God, yet you have "Yahwist" written under "Faith". A bit redundant, no?

"HaShemist" would sound similar to nominalist. Some people here could mistake me for a modalist!  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2013, 09:00:15 AM »

8 ) The instructions given to the Twelve

The instructions given by Yeshua to the Twelve in Mark differ from those recorded by Matthew and Luke. To contrast:

Do not take gold, silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for the journey, or an extra tunic, or sandals or staff, for the worker deserves his provisions. (Matthew 10:9-10)

He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, and do not take an extra tunic. (Luke 9:3)

Jesus called the twelve and began to send them out two by two. He gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff  – no bread, no bag, no money in their belts – and to put on sandals but not to wear two tunics. (Mark 6:7-9)

The account in Mark seems to contradict the ones in Matthew and Luke. According to Mark, Yeshua allowed His apostles to wear sandals and take a stick whereas in Matthew Yeshua asked the Twelve to take nothing with them, not even sticks or sandals. The order not to carry sticks occurs in Luke too. NET Bible has the following comment on this apparent contradiction:

Neither Matt 10:9-10 nor Luke 9:3 allow for a staff. It might be that Matthew and Luke mean not taking an extra staff, or that the expression is merely rhetorical for “traveling light,” which has been rendered in two slightly different ways.

New American Bible (St. Joseph size edition) presents the following explanation:

These differences indicate a different adaptation to conditions in and outside of Palestine and suggest in Mark's account a later activity in the Church.

It is probable that in Mark wearing sandals and carrying a stick were considered signs of authority or solely meant to distinguish Yeshua's apostles from others. Interestingly, the first time I read about this difference and the reference to sticks and sandals in Mark, I remembered the following biblical verse:

This is how you are to eat it – dressed to travel, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. You are to eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. (Exodus 12:11)
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2013, 05:54:12 AM »

Theophilis. Nice thread subject although I can't agree with most of what you have posted. Just a quick note of help. That "answering Islam" site is a enormous dung pile. If you want to be taken seriously, by anyone who isn't moronic enough to follow lock step with MEQ, Daniel Pipes, or whatever, I would avoid using it as a reference. (Really the whole stuff about Jesus' impotence in Mark is just pure misreading, never mind how they butcher the Koran, which is arguably more difficult to understand as a text than Mark. If the person writing that portion of the site can't read Mark coherently, I would suggest they visit my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Graves if she is still living.)

I enjoy it for a laugh. It does offer footnotes which when you follow them up you realize the whoever is writing the content does suffer from some extreme lapses in reading comprehension, but the site is excellent in aggregating sources even if the authors do not or cannot read them themselves.
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2013, 04:14:09 PM »

Theophilis. Nice thread subject although I can't agree with most of what you have posted. Just a quick note of help. That "answering Islam" site is a enormous dung pile. If you want to be taken seriously, by anyone who isn't moronic enough to follow lock step with MEQ, Daniel Pipes, or whatever, I would avoid using it as a reference. (Really the whole stuff about Jesus' impotence in Mark is just pure misreading, never mind how they butcher the Koran, which is arguably more difficult to understand as a text than Mark. If the person writing that portion of the site can't read Mark coherently, I would suggest they visit my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Graves if she is still living.)

The person who misread and misinterpreted Mark's simple text is a Muslim propagandist, not an author at answering-islam.
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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2013, 05:24:15 PM »

9) The list of the things defiling men

The list given by Yeshua in Mark of the things that defile men is different from the one in Matthew. To compare and contrast:

But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person. For out of the heart come evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:18-19)

He said, “What comes out of a person defiles him. For from within, out of the human heart, come evil ideas, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, and folly. (Mark 7:20-22)

Common elements on both lists: evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, and slander.

The list in Mark is more comprehensive as it contains, in addition to the things on the list given by Matthew, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, pride and folly.

It is perhaps not wrong to consider "false testimony" in Matthew identical to "deceit" in Mark as these are related concepts. Besides, Mark's list has both "evil ideas" and "evil", which may at first seem redundant. However, Yeshua probably meant evil in practice, that is, evil actions when He said only "evil".
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« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2013, 06:08:23 PM »

10) Syrophoenician woman

Although Matthew identifies the Gentile woman whose faith is tested and whose daughter is miraculously healed by Yeshua as a Canaanite, Mark gives more details regarding her ethnicity and nationality. To compare:

After going out from there, Jesus went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that area came and cried out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is horribly demon-possessed!” (Matthew 15:21-22)

After Jesus left there, he went to the region of Tyre. When he went into a house, he did not want anyone to know, but he was not able to escape notice. Instead, a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him and came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, of Syrophoenician origin. She asked him to cast the demon out of her daughter. (Mark 7:24-26)

Some critics consider this difference a contradiction between the two texts, but the difference most probably stemmed from Matthew's and Mark's peculiar writing styles. Here is a plausible solution to this seeming problem:

This woman lived in Phoenicia (which, politically speaking, belonged to the province of Syria). Hence, she is designated a Syrophoenician. She is further denominated as a “Greek” because she had absorbed the Greek culture, obviously speaking that language. In the New Testament, the term Hellen (“Greek”) frequently is used in the generic sense of simply a “Gentile” (Jn. 7:35; Acts 9:29; Rom. 1:16, etc.; see: F.W. Danker, Greek-English Lexicon, Chicago: University of Chicago, 2000, p. 318). https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/468-canaanite-woman-a-conflict-between-matthew-and-mark-the
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« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2013, 06:17:18 PM »

Theophilis. Nice thread subject although I can't agree with most of what you have posted. Just a quick note of help. That "answering Islam" site is a enormous dung pile. If you want to be taken seriously, by anyone who isn't moronic enough to follow lock step with MEQ, Daniel Pipes, or whatever, I would avoid using it as a reference. (Really the whole stuff about Jesus' impotence in Mark is just pure misreading, never mind how they butcher the Koran, which is arguably more difficult to understand as a text than Mark. If the person writing that portion of the site can't read Mark coherently, I would suggest they visit my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Graves if she is still living.)

The person who misread and misinterpreted Mark's simple text is a Muslim propagandist, not an author at answering-islam.

No it is the other way around. The interpreter claiming that the text depicts Jesus as not being impotent is clearly wrong. I don't think answering-islam ever right about anything. You would think they might want to start with Christian literatur  before they go out trying to fix the mistakes in understanding Islamic literature.

But really who are we kidding?
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2013, 06:17:54 PM »

10) Syrophoenician woman

Although Matthew identifies the Gentile woman whose faith is tested and whose daughter is miraculously healed by Yeshua as a Canaanite, Mark gives more details regarding her ethnicity and nationality. To compare:

After going out from there, Jesus went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that area came and cried out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is horribly demon-possessed!” (Matthew 15:21-22)

After Jesus left there, he went to the region of Tyre. When he went into a house, he did not want anyone to know, but he was not able to escape notice. Instead, a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him and came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, of Syrophoenician origin. She asked him to cast the demon out of her daughter. (Mark 7:24-26)

Some critics consider this difference a contradiction between the two texts, but the difference most probably stemmed from Matthew's and Mark's peculiar writing styles. Here is a plausible solution to this seeming problem:

This woman lived in Phoenicia (which, politically speaking, belonged to the province of Syria). Hence, she is designated a Syrophoenician. She is further denominated as a “Greek” because she had absorbed the Greek culture, obviously speaking that language. In the New Testament, the term Hellen (“Greek”) frequently is used in the generic sense of simply a “Gentile” (Jn. 7:35; Acts 9:29; Rom. 1:16, etc.; see: F.W. Danker, Greek-English Lexicon, Chicago: University of Chicago, 2000, p. 318). https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/468-canaanite-woman-a-conflict-between-matthew-and-mark-the


^----cross thread proof: one of the women noted for teaching Jesus.
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« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2013, 06:09:58 PM »


11) All foods are clean

Mark is the only Evangelist to have inserted a parenthetical note into the narrative regarding what defiles men:

"For it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and then goes out into the sewer."(This means all foods are clean.) (Mark 7:19)

Some biblical scholars think that Mark added this note because he addressed a non-Jewish audience unlike Matthew.
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