An experiment: The original Gospel of Mark?—Chp. 15

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 15 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 Gnosis, repentance, and forgiveness of sins have been superseded.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. 15

[1] And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate.
[2] And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.”
[3] And the chief priests accused him of many things.
[4] And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.”
[5] But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate wondered.

[6] Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked.
[7] And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas.
[8] And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he was wont to do for them.
[9] And he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”
[10] For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.
[11] But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.
[12] And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?”
[13] And they cried out again, “Crucify him.”
[14] And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.”
[15] So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
[16] And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the praetorium); and they called together the whole battalion.

[17] And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him.
[18] And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
[19] And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him.
[20] And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
[21] And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

[22] And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).
[23] And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it.
[24] And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.
[25] And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.
[26] And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”
[27] And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
[29] And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days,
[30] save yourself, and come down from the cross!”

[34] And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
[35] And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”
[36] And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”
[37] And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.


The Gospel of Mark: Chp. 15
(Revised Standard Version)

[1] And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate.
[2] And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.”
[3] And the chief priests accused him of many things.
[4] And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.”
[5] But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate wondered.

[6] Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked.
[7] And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas.
[8] And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he was wont to do for them.
[9] And he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?”
[10] For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.
[11] But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.
[12] And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?”
[13] And they cried out again, “Crucify him.”
[14] And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.”
[15] So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
[16] And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the praetorium); and they called together the whole battalion.

[17] And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him.
[18] And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
[19] And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him.
[20] And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
[21] And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

[22] And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).
[23] And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it.
[24] And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.
[25] And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.
[26] And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”
[27] And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
[29] And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days,
[30] save yourself, and come down from the cross!”

[31] So also the chief priests mocked him to one another with the scribes, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.
[32] Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
[33] And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

[34] And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
[35] And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”
[36] And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”
[37] And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.

[38] And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
[39] And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

[40] There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome,
[41] who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him; and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

[42] And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
[43] Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.
[44] And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.
[45] And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.
[46] And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.
[47] Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

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