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