Re: Cephas (Weeden)
Very helpful to have Steve Johnson's exposition of his views on Mark.
Thanks Steve. The one caveat I'd raise here is that you seem to see Mark
as one-sidely/single-mindedly portraying the 12 in a bad light, whereas I
think that numerous studies of the 70s & 80s (e.g., E. Best, Tannehill,
etc.) showed that Mark portrays the 12 in a mixed way: he certainly
portrays their failures (in language and in a degree noticeably stronger
than any of the other Evangelists), but he nevertheless designates the 12
as THE key followers given authority (3:13-19; 6:7-13), the "secret of
the Kingdom" (4:10-12), charged to evangelize the nations (13:9-13), and
in Peter their status re-affirmed after Jesus' resurrection (16:7). So,
that doesn't sound like a very effective way of discrediting them in some
sort of power-politics scramble such as you suggest, Steve.
Rather, it looks to me like a much more radical/profound critique
of false notions of discipleship, with the readers in fact intended to
identify with the 12--with their failures and with their calling--and to
see in Jesus the pattern and basis for their discpleship. That is, the
12 are proto-types not archetypes, if you will.
Peter's betrayal in Mk. 15 is drawn out and made explicit,
because it is modelled on the sort of denials of Jesus that early Jewish
Christians were probably urged to in Jewish synagogue courts, and
Gentile Christians were urged to do perhaps as well in civil courts (the
similarity with the basic structure of interrogations reported by Pliny
the Younger is interesting).
So, Weeden's thesis was judged a failure precisely in being
simplistic in its treatment of the Markan evidence.
Larry Hurtado, Religion, Univ. of Manitoba