[b-greek] RE: Agency&Passive, Mk 14:57-59 False testimony

From: Iver Larsen (iver_larsen@sil.org)
Date: Thu Jun 07 2001 - 02:39:17 EDT

From Iver to Clay:

> Iver raised the issue of the privacy of Jesus prediction of the fall of the
> temple in Mk 13:2, suggesting that the false testimony in Mk 14:57-59 could
> not be linked to remarks that were not publicly made.
> I looked over the synoptic accounts of Jesus prediction of the fall of the
> temple (MK13:2, Matt 24:2, Lk 21:6) and it seems that these remarks were
> only semi-private. Real privacy in Mark's account does not arrive until Mk
> 13:3 where we are told that Peter, James and John EPHRWTA AUTO KAT' IDIAN.
> See also Matt 24:3.
> Those who were available to hear Jesus prediction (hOI MAQTHAI) about the
> temple could easily have been responsible for repeating Jesus words which
> became the substance of the false testimony in Mk 14:57-59 even if they were
> not the ones bearing false testimony. Assuming that hOI MAQTHAI is not being
> used in the narrow sense of the twelve, it could even be possible that one
> of those hearing Jesus actually participated in the false testimony directly
> but this would be impossible to prove and is in a sense a question of little
> importance.

Although we are moving away from the agency/passive discussion, I'd like to make a couple
of comments.

The text of Mk 13:3 and parallels is not that clear as to exactly who were with Jesus when
he predicted the destruction of the Temple. As he was probably returning to spend the
night in Bethany after a day in the Temple, I think it is unlikely that the disciples
mentioned are other than the 12. When only four names are mentioned in Mk 13:3, I do not
take this to mean that the other 8 were not present. Matthew 24:3 does not mention the
four spokespersons, but says that his disciples came to him and when he was alone with
them, he said... I have always understood the whole Olivet discourse to have been directed
to the 12 disciples alone.

A more important reason that Mk 14:58 probably refers to John 2:19, which says LUSATE TON
NAON TOUTON KAI EN TRISIN hHMERAIS EGERW AUTON, and not Mk 13:2 et par. is that Jesus is
falsely accused of not only destroying the temple, but also making the outrageous
statement that he was going to build another temple within three days. It is no wonder
that the Sanhedrin could not use such an outrageous claim for anything. No one would take
it seriously, and of course, Jesus was speaking of a different temple altogether, which
his opponents were going to tear down while he (or God) would rebuild it.

The false testimony contains three elements:
1) Destroy this Temple, representing God's presence (TON NAON TOUTON)
2) Built with hands
3) I will rebuild another temple within three days
Numbers 1) and 3) are clear parallels to John 2:19, including TON NAON TOUTON, rather than
TO hIERON, the Temple buildings including the huge Herodian stones of the outer wall,
which is talked about in Mk 13:1-4. There is only one common element with Mk 13:2, the
word "destroy".

Number 2) - CEIROPOIHTOS - is not mentioned anywhere else in the gospels, but that does
not mean that it cannot refer to something Jesus may have said. The false accusation could
well be a conflation of two different sayings of Jesus. The "missing link" is that the
physical NAOS in Jerusalem was "made by hands" and it was to be replaced by a new NAOS,
not made by hands, that is Jesus himself and by extension His Body, the Church. This
understanding is reflected in Acts 7:48 and Heb 9:11. It could well have been part of the
teaching of Jesus that God would no longer dwell in the NAOS in Jerusalem, but would dwell
in His Church.

Iver Larsen

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