Re: "a" or "the" ?? (Mark 15.39)

From: Jim West (
Date: Thu Mar 26 1998 - 15:51:33 EST

At 01:25 PM 3/26/98 +0400, you wrote:

>But Mark does record other ironic "witnesses" to Christ. Perhaps the
>demons for one.

Not so taken by me. The demonic witness is evidence, for Mark, the even the
evil powers know who Jesus is and recognize him. There is no irony intended

> But also in Mark 12:14, Those sent from the Pharisees say
>"We know . . . truly, you teach the way of God." There can be no doubt in
>the text that the statement is pretensious on their part but it fits so
>nicely with Mark's emphasis on "the way" beginning in 1:2-3 and continuing
>thru/out the gospel till this point.

Again, I do not take their saying as ironic at all. They are telling the
truth as they see it; there was no doubt, as far as they were concerned,
that Jesus operated by the power of God. Nevertheless they (as a group,
with certain individual exceptions) did not go so far as to believe him the

> Surely a bit of irony that Mark can
>use even the sneers of his enemies to "witness" to him.

But how can we know irony unless we can see their faces and hear their tone
of voice? the whole tack that approaches the gospels in this way weems to
me to be eisegetical rather than exegetical. For, quite simply, there is
absolutely no way to demonstrate such irony except by a reading into the
text something that is not necessarily there.

>Carlton L. Winbery


Jim West, ThD
Petros TN

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