And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” (Mark 11:17)
The same word is used of the men crucified alongside Jesus in Mark 15:27.
And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
Is this merely coincidental, or is there something deeper going on? Is there a link between the “white collar” Temple crimes and the “blue collar” criminals?
“Smooth narrative” is one of the arguments against the inclusion of the final verses of the Gospel of Mark. The Bible isn’t known for its smooth narrative, anyway, but the ending does seem to pick up the speed suddenly. Is there anything in the text that might point in the other direction? How about literary structure?
Mark follows a convention found throughout all the Bible’s texts, based upon the Creation Week and the Levitical Feasts (Leviticus 23). The gospel has a number of “Covenant-shaped” cycles, and the entire book is itself “Covenant-shaped.” This final cycle is left incomplete if the gospel ends at 16:8 (see below). The question is, does this “clockwork” internal textual evidence outweigh the shabby history of the manuscripts? Continue reading
A recent post by Jeff Meyers, reproduced in full here with his permission.
I see that the Gospel reading in the lectionary this week is Mark 12: 38-44. I’m preaching through the 10 commandments, so I won’t be commenting on this passage on Sunday. But I would like to give a different perspective on this passage than what is normally heard.
James Jordan maintains that Matthew’s Gospel was written first. Eugen Rosenstock-Huessey does too.
All the New Testament writers use the Bible Matrix. A possible application of the identification of literary structures is the solving of disputes over textual variants. I applied the matrix to Mark 16, where verses 9-20 are considered by many to be a later addition. Guess what?
From a recent facebook post by Rick Capezza (reproduced with his permission):
I’m trying to figure out the structure of the miracles of the two daughters in Mark. I looked in a half dozen commentaries for structures, but found nothing. I have yet to try a hierarchical structure, but I took a quick shot at a chiasm using Eric [Pyle]‘s KAYAK tool. 
A. T. Ross’ review of Peter Leithart’s recent book, The Four: A Survey of the Gospels. From www.goodreads.com
A wonderful follow-up book to Leithart’s A House For My Name, this one focusing on the gospels. I hope he plans to do a third to complete the set, focusing on a survey of the entire the New Testament as the completion of God’s house.
or The First Shall Be Last
Yesterday’s post concerning Jesus’ message to John had some discussion about lepers becoming New Covenant priests. Those who were condemned to live outside were made clean and invited in. Of course, there is Jesus’ own condemnation of those who watched harlots and tax collectors enter the kingdom but defiantly stood outside themselves.
Right up until the end of the Jewish war, the Jewish leadership got their clean and unclean, their inside and outside, more and more wrong. The gospel turned their world upside down–or, in fact, rightside up.
John Barach observes how Mark applies this to Jesus’ own family using literary structure: Continue reading
The Formerly Rich Young Man
by Halden Doerge
In a previous post about the story of the rich young man (Mark 10:17-21) I suggested that there’s no reason to think that the man did not indeed go away intending to do as Jesus commanded, by selling all his possessions and following him. In the comments someone suggested that there is a tradition that suggests Barnabas may be the rich young man in question here. I did some digging and couldn’t find much of anything on that point, but I did find another possibility that actually has support from the text of Mark itself.