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