Re: Cephas (Weeden)

Yes, Steve, the 12 do fail Jesus in Mark at crucial points.  I won't, 
however, here try to re-present the excellent (and, to my and most minds, 
I think, persuasive) discussions cited below.  Let me simply point out 
two things in response to your apparent view that the final Markan word 
on the 12 is rejection/failure.  
(1) You overlook the crucially-important 14:27-28, where Jesus both 
predicts the 12's failure AND promises nevertheless a renewal of their 
calling and fellowship with the resurrected Jesus.  The suggests to most 
interpreters that Mark intends the authoritative voice of Jesus to guide 
the readers as to the final status and attitude toward the 12:  
redemption and restoration beyond their failures.  (In the context of 
persecution of disciples suggested as part of the "life-world" of Mark's 
readers, the point would have been potentially controversial--contra some 
early Christian voices, it IS possible to be forgiven and restored even 
if one denies Christ under interrogation.)
(2) As to 16:8, it is MOST  unlikely that the "they said nothing to 
anyone" of the women was intended to mean that the 12 were never told of 
Jesus' resurrection, for Mark's readers would almost certainly (nothing's 
certain in history!) have known otherwise.  I repeat that the 
AUTHORITATIVE voice in Mark's narrative is God and/or Jesus, and 14:27-28 
must be taken seriously in guiding the reader.  These things combine to 
suggest that 16:8 in fact means that the women "said nothing to anyone" 
(i.e., to anyone else, but ONLY told the 12), which helps account for (a) 
the lack of prominence of women as "official" witnesses in early church 
tradition (i.e., they don't get mentioned as proving anything in such 
tradition as 1 Cor 15:1-7 or even in the Gospel accounts, where Jesus in 
fact has to appear to the 12 to make them the official witnesses), and 
(b) the silence of the women (toward outsideers) is part of the early 
Christian tradition that the resurrection of Jesus was disclosed ONLY to 
those chosen to be witnesses, and then from them to others.
	To avoid taking up more e-space, I refer interested readers to 
the following more extensive discussions.

Philip Davis, "Christology, Discipleship, and Self-Understanding in the 
Gospel of Mark," in _Self-Definition and Self-Discovery in Early 
Christianity:  A Case of Shifting Horizons, Essays in appreciation of Ben 
F. Meyer from his former students_ eds. D. Hawkin & T. Robinson 
(Lewiston/Queenston:  Edwin Mellen Press, 1990), 101-19.

Thomas So"ding, "Die Nachfolgeforderung Jesu im Markusevangelium," 
Trierer Theologische Zeitschrift 94(1985), 308ff.

Cilliers Breytenback, _Nachfolge und Zukunftserwartung nach Markus_ 
(Xu"rich: Theologischer Verlag, 1984).

David Rhoads, Donald Mitche, _Mark as Story. An Introduction tot he 
Narrative of a Gospel_ (Philadelphia:  Fortress, 1982).

R. C. Tannehill, "The Gospel of Mark as Narrative Christology," Semeia 

E. Best, _Following Jesus.  Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark_(JSNTSup 
4; Sheffield: JSOT, 1981).

C. C. Black, _The Disciples according to Mark.  Markan Redaction in 
Current Debate_ (Sheffield:  JSOT, 1989).

J. R. Donahue, _The Theology and Setting of Discipleship in the Gospel of 
Mark_((Milwaukee: Marquetter Univ. Press, 1983).

R. C. Tannehill, "The Disciples in Mark," JR 57(1977).

D. J. Hawkin, "The Incomprehension of the Disciples in the Markan 
Redaction," JBL 91(1972).

J. D. Kingsbury, _The Christology of Mark's Gospel_ (Fortress, 1983).

Cheers.  Larry Hurtado, Religion, Univ. of Manitoba