From: Edgar Foster (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Sep 04 1998 - 11:14:36 EDT
---"Carl W. Conrad" <email@example.com> wrote:
> At 6:44 AM -0500 9/3/98, Jonathan Robie wrote:
> >To me, the English phrase "their heart was hardened" implies a
wilful steeling of the heart to avoid being open to receiving
something, but in Mark 6:52, it seems to mean only that "they didn't
get it".< <
> >Various sources I look at disagree whether this "hardening of the
heart" involves wilful refusal; i.e. is it a wilful blindness, or just
a blindness?< <
> >In Job 17:7, Job says PEPWRONTAI GAR APO ORGHS hOI OFQALMOI MOU,
his eyes have grown dim because of grief. In context, I don't think
this implies any wilfulness on Job's part.
> >Now I know that "there are none so blind as those who will not
see", but does the phrase ALL HN AUTWN hH KARDIA PEPWRWMENH itself
imply wilful blindness, or just blindness?< <
Personally, I think that the blindness of the disciples was not
willful, but was caused by both their finite limitations, and their
sinful FUSIS (Matt. 26:39). CS Mann also takes this view when he
"Mark's explanation is that the disciples were obtuse, failing to
perceive reality rather than being guilty of sheer obstinacy" (Mann
To back his case, Mann refers to two texts: 2 Cor. 3:14 and Rom. 11:7.
The cases he refers to, however, seem to raise more problems than they
For example, Rom. 11:7, 8:
hOI DE LOIPOI EPWRWQHSAN . . . EDWKEN AUTOIS hO QEOS PNEUMA KATANUZEWS
OFQALMOUS TOU MH BLEPEIN KAI WTA TOU MH AKOUEIN.
This text, on the surface, seems to indicate that Israel is not
willfully obstinate in its refusal to believe in the Son of God. But
is this the case? Is God responsible for their blindness? I think its
more a case of God "allowing" Israel to undergo spiritual blindness.
If God was responsible for the blindness of Israel, then it would seem
that Israel had an excuse for not exercising faith in Christ.
According to Jesus, there was no excuse for rejecting him (John
15:21-25). My conclusion is therefore, Mann's parallel is not valid
here. The blindness in Mark 6:52 is not to be understood in the same
way as the blindness in Rom. 11:7ff. I'm sure many would disagree,
Nevertheless, I think the same thing could be said for 2 Cor. 3:14.
The blindness mentioned in this text is qualitatively different from
the blindness of Mark 6:52. When considering the blindness of Jesus'
disciples, three things must be considered: the text, cotext, and
context. This means that it is important to look at the psychological
state of the referent(s) and their respective relationship to the
protagonist of the said narrative.
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