Re: Boundary Marker in Mark

From: clayton stirling bartholomew (
Date: Thu May 18 2000 - 17:17:08 EDT

on 05/18/00 8:21 AM, Joe A. Friberg wrote:

> The boundary marker to which I allude is:
> 'Nominative articular explicit reference to Jesus (the main character) by
> name as the (Nominative) Subject of the first finite verb of a pericope.'
> Or, to put it differenly, whenever Mk uses hO IHSOUS at the beginning (in
> the first clause) of a pericope, this marks the beginning of a new major
> section of his gospel. The logic behind the uniqueness of this form of
> reference to Jesus lies in the fact that he is the main character, and in
> the normal course of the narrative, Mk can (and does) simply refer to him
> with a 3ms pronoun or corresponding verb inflection/agreement, and the
> reader immediately knows it is the main character who is thus referenced.
> But, when Mk begins a new major section of his gospel, he reintroduces Jesus
> by name.
> This marker occurs at:
> 1.14
> 3.7
> 8.27
> 9.2
> 12.35
> 14.27
> Several of these earlier divisions are fairly well agreed upon (on literary
> grounds), but the latter ones are more disputed. The above partially
> syntactic criterion gives an objective means to pinpoint the later
> divisions. But the validity of these divisions must be determined by, among
> other things, thematic motifs.


What other criteria for identifying textual "spans" have you used to test
these boundaries. In other words, are there some other textual features that
characterize these large discourse units that lend support to seeing the
> 'Nominative articular explicit reference to Jesus (the main character) by
> name as the (Nominative) Subject of the first finite verb of a pericope'
as a boundary marker?

My understanding at this point is that textual spans and boundaries are best
identified by a combination of formal, syntactical and semantic patterns
which work together to signal continuities and discontinuities within the
units and at their borders.

Therefore, to establish a macro level structure for Mark we would need to
see more than one pattern of features that would lend supported to our
proposed structure.


Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062

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