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Monday, 6 June 2016
Incomplete Picture

Memory and Identity in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity,
Tom Thatcher ed., SBL, 2014
Chapter 161-186, page 173-175 Prolegomena on the Textualisation of Mark's Gospeldnl

However alluring this proposal is, particularly for those who want to date Mark's Gospel in the 60-80 CE time window (which I don't, prefering a slightly earlier date), Keith suggests that it is incomplete. A number of possible crises may have precipitated its textualisation: the destruction of the Temple, Noeronian persecutions in Rome, a generational response the crucifixion. Keith remains unconvinced:

Depite the Traditionsbruch theory's considerable help in offering plausible explanations, or plausible contexts, for Mark's productin of a written gospel, it emains incomplete as a theory of textualisation. First, the model offers no guidelines for identifying the precise situation to which Mark might be responding.

Several incidents, some listed above, in early Christianity could, or even did, cause crises of memory. Textualisation as a response to any of them as triggers makes equal sense.

Second, and more important ... although written tradition can be a helpful means of managing a memory crisis, oral tradition is also capable of transferring communicative memory into cultural memory in the form of ritual and festival.

The question remains open - what else did a manuscript to that was not already being accomplisged by oral tradition, weekly meetings and early Christian rituals such as baptism and communion?

Posted By Jonathan, 8:02am Comment Comments: 0