Re: Mark ch 15, v. 2

From: Mark Goodacre (
Date: Wed Jun 03 1998 - 12:10:24 EDT

Jeffrey Gibson wrote:

>1. How do we know that SU LEGEIS is "legalese"? - an expression
>drawn from the world of the court, let alone that "in legalese" it
>had the meaning you attribute to it? Is there independent evidence
>to support the claim that the phrase SU LEGEIS is known legal
>terminology and means (to quote A.L. Weber in _JC Superstar, Your
>words, not mine"? That is to say, do we find the expression used in,
>say, transcripts of trials or in stories of court proceedings other
>than Mk. 15 *and* with the meaning ascribed to them here?

Attractive as Ben's and Carl's proposal is, I would agree with
Jeffrey that we need some justification for the 'legalese' claim.
Perhaps this will be forthcoming -- it would be most interesting if
it is.

In the meantime, we just can't escape the irony of this passage. We
need to read Mark 15.2 together with Mark 15.16ff. Pilate asks Jesus
if he is "king of the Jews". Jesus gives an ambiguous reply, but
shortly afterwards the answer will come in dramatic form as the
protagonists themselves will be involved in Jesus' coronation. He is
going to be robed, crowned, worshipped (vv. 17-20) and finally
enthroned as "King of the Jews" (vv. 24-26). The reader has been
promised from the beginning that "the kingdom of God is at hand"
(1.15). Now its king is being crowned.

All the best


Dr Mark Goodacre
  Dept of Theology, University of Birmingham

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