An experiment: The original Gospel of Mark?—Chp. 11

As noted in the Introduction, two texts of the relevant chapter in the Gospel of Mark are presented here. The first is a short, hypothetical “core”—the first draft of an UrMark reconstructed according to the criteria below.

At the bottom of this post is the entire Chapter 11 in the RSV English translation. Both the short and the longer forms of the chapter are color coded. In order to separate out later Catholic accretions from the earlier Jewish Christian “core,” I have employed the following criteria:

The criteria used for color coding are discussed here. The resultant color coding is as follows:

[Contained in the Hebrew Gospel / UrMark]

Green: Possible/probable, or amended in UrMark.

STAGE 1: Gnostic. To c. 50 CE. “Jesus” is the saving gnosis.
                           Black: May contain historical elements going back to Yeshu ha-Notsri.
                           [Blue] Logia/parables of Yeshu.

STAGE 2a: Jewish Christian. [Brown] C. 50–c. 150 CE. “Jesus” is a divine spiritual entity sent from Yahweh indwelling any worthy human through the grace of God/obedience to God. But the first in whom the Jesus dwelled (the prophet Yeshu ha-Notsri by my reckoning) was known as “the first-begotten Son” of God, the “Christ” (Messiah; NTA I:177.2). This messiah was only a model for emulation, not the unattainable figure of later Christianity. Possessing the Jesus (which we can all do, and should do) enables repentance and the forgiveness of sins. The spirit Jesus is divine, but the humans in whom the Jesus dwells are not.

[Not in the Hebrew Gospel / UrMark]

STAGE 2b: Pauline/Marcionite. [Purple] C. 50–c. 150 CE. “Jesus” is a divine spiritual entity sent from the immaterial God (not the God of creation) indwelling any worthy human through the grace of God/obedience to God. The death on the cross of a prophet (“Jesus Christ”) in the distant past was a cosmic event of human redemption. Jesus is divine, but the human(s) in whom it dwells are not. Belief is required.

STAGE 3: Catholic Christianity. [Red] C. 150+. “Jesus of Nazareth” is the savior of the world. Gnosis, repentance, and forgiveness of sins have been superseded. “Jesus Christ” was both divine and human. Belief is required.      (Red underlined: Catholic and anti-Marcionite.)

The comprehensive UrMark, cumulatively updated after each installment, is found here.
The cumulative (color coded) Gospel of Mark, also updated after each installment, is found here.


The Hebrew Gospel / UrMark: Chp. 11

[1] And when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives,
[9] those who went before and those who followed cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
[10] Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!”

[11] And he entered Jerusalem, and went into the temple;
[17] and he taught, and said 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.”
[18] And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and sought a way to destroy him; for they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.

[25] [And he taught] “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” [A karmic saying.—R.S.]
[27] And the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him,
[28] and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”


The Gospel of Mark: Chp. 11
(Revised Standard Version)

[1] And when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,
[2] and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat; untie it and bring it.
[3] If any one says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.'”
[4] And they went away, and found a colt tied at the door out in the open street; and they untied it.
[5] And those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”
[6] And they told them what Jesus had said; and they let them go.
[7] And they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their garments on it; and he sat upon it.
[8] And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.

[9] And those who went before and those who followed cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
[10] Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming! Hosanna in the highest!”
[11] And he entered Jerusalem, and went into the temple;
and when he had looked round at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

[12] On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.
[13] And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
[14] And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

[15] And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons;
[16] and he would not allow any one to carry anything through the temple.

[17] And he taught, and said 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.”
[18] And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and sought a way to destroy him; for they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.

[19] And when evening came they went out of the city.
[20] As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.
[21] And Peter remembered and said to him, “Master, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered.”
[22] And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.
[23] Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.
[24] Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

[25] And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

[27] And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him,
[28] and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?”

[29] Jesus said to them, “I will ask you a question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
[30] Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men? Answer me.”
[31] And they argued with one another, “If we say, `From heaven,’ he will say, `Why then did you not believe him?’
[32] But shall we say, `From men’?” — they were afraid of the people, for all held that John was a real prophet.
[33] So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

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