[b-greek] Mk 14:38 as an allusion to Ps 78?

From: Jeffrey B. Gibson (jgibson000@home.com)
Date: Sun May 27 2001 - 13:32:45 EDT

With apologies for cross posting:

Recently I've been doing a little more work on my thesis that what we
have in Mk 14:38 is **not** an urging by Jesus that Peter, James, and
John pray to be spared their **experiencing** a test, but a command by
Jesus that Peter, James, and John pray for divine aid to resist putting
God to the test. In pursuit of this, I've been investigating the
meaning of Jesus' remark that follows immediately after the command and
which seems, in the Markan scheme of things, to be the grounds upon
which Jesus tells his disciples to pray what he orders them to pray,
i.e., the remark that "the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak"..

I wonder then if List members might give me some feedback on am idea
I've been toying with regarding this remark, namely that, it contains
and/or is meant to be seen as an allusion to Ps. 78:39-41

[39] He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and
comes not again.
[40] How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved
him in the desert!
[41] They tested him again and again, and provoked the Holy One of

What leads me to think this is not only the appearance within these
verses of two of the key elements in Mk 14:38 ("testing", "flesh") but
that the Psalm contains a history of God's steadfast willingness to be
compassionate, forgive iniquity, and save Israel over and over again
despite Israel's continued refusal after the Exodus to be true to the
covenant, an unfaithfulness that is attributed to Israel's being "but

So far as I can tell, no one else has made the connection between Mk
14:38 and Ps. 78. So is it real.

Comments are welcome.


Jeffrey Gibson
Jeffrey B. Gibson, D.Phil. (Oxon.)
7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
Chicago, Illinois 60626
e-mail jgibson000@home.com

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