From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Sep 14 1995 - 11:34:27 EDT

At 8:10 AM 9/14/95, wrote:
>We agree that the bringing together of these statements express Mark's
>understanding of the situation and present danger and needed response for his
>readers. I am well aware that Paul certainly expected the PAROUSIA in his
>life time, but Mark's concerns seem to me to suppose a different need, i.e.,
>to separate disciples in Palestine (I can't make the location more specific
>than that.) from the enterprize of seeking to defend Jerusalem of Israel from
>the Romans. We know that there was some concern by the early disciples
>concerning that. I think Luke reflects feelings by Jewish Christians in
>Jerusalem by the question they asked the risen Lord, "Will you at this time
>restore the Kingdom to Israel?' (Acts 1). The realization of the true nature
>of the Kingdom was a difficult thing to accomplish among those who grew up
>thinking that the first thing Messiah would do would be to free Jerusalem
>from the Romans. This was not accomplished until Jerusalem was no more, but
>perhaps (we all are guessing here) Mark realized it before the actual event.
> Paul still was in a hurry to get back to Jerusalem to celibrate Pentecost in
>the temple just about ten years before Mark wrote.

I quite agree that ONE central concern in Mark is a warning to Mark's
Palestinian contemporaries to steer clear of the politics of the
freedom-fighters and any notion that that had anything to do with the
Kingdom's coming. There are other pointers in the same direction, such as
the warning to keep away from the "yeast" of the Pharisees and Herodians
(8:15), even the way Mark underscores the fact that Barabbas the
"seditionist" was released in place of Jesus for the Passover; whether
factual or not, the emphasis on this point is, I think Marcan. Where I
think I tend to disagree with you, Carlton, is on the extent to which this
is THE central concern in Mark (we also agree upon the importance of
suffering discipleship that is fundamentally evangelism, I think) and
whether Mark fully espouses a message predicated upon what we traditionally
refer to as the "delay of the Parousia." I don't think that he does; I
think he sees an interval between the sack of Jerusalem and the Temple and
the consummation, but I don't think he sees it as a very long one or one
that requires a purely spiritual reading of 8:30-9:1. The END is not
identical with the end of Jerusalem and the Temple, but thier end is
nevertheless part of the sequence leading to THE END. Or so I am still
inclined to think is the case for Mark.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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