GosMark Inclusion

GosMark was most likely written for the Gentiles, and the writers believed they did not have to keep the Jewish law. Richard Bauckman, senior scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, states in The Johannine Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus: “The extent to which John presupposes traditions about Jesus which he does not record is not often noticed. Whether the evangelist’s intention was in some sense to complement one or more of the Synoptic Gospels is not important for our present purposes, though there is quite a strong case to be made for the view that he presupposes his readers know Mark.”

Furthermore, he states: “The explanation for the oft-remarked absence of the term ‘kingdom of God’ from John (only in 3:3, 5), by comparison with its prominence as the central theme of Jesus’ message in the Synoptics, is that ‘eternal life’ or ‘life’ is the Johannine substitute for it.” However, the verbiage in both GosJohn & GosMark is quite similar and written in the same vein. This discussion is further explored in Paul N. Anderson’s Mark, John, and Answerability: Interfluentiality and Dialectic between the Second and Fourth Gospels. In the Orthodox Canon, Mark is the Second Gospel, not the First. John is of course the Fourth. Anderson refers to Mark and John as the Bi-Optic Gospels, thus not the three Synoptics (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) against John.

Additionally, the late Larry Hurtado of the University of Edinburgh had this to say on his blog: “Scholarly readers of the Gospel of Mark have long noted the conspicuous presence of non-Greek terms and phrases.  A forthcoming article sets the analysis of the phenomena on a more sophisticated level:  Alfredo Delgado Gomez, “Get Up!  Be Opened!:  Code-switching and loanwords in the Gospel of Mark,” forthcoming (2020) in Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Scholars have often explored whether the use of such non-Greek words and phrases was indicative of the provenance (or destination) of the GMark.  For example, the Latin words have led some to propose a Latin-speaking setting/destination.  Others, pointing to the greater frequency of Hebrew and Aramaic terms have argued for an “Eastern” setting in Palestine or Syria. To my knowledge, Delgado Gomez’s article in the first study to address the wider phenomenon of what are called in linguistics “loanwords”, whether Latin, Hebrew, or Aramaic.  And he does so bringing to bear principles and insights from social linguistics. After setting out those principles and insights, he then surveys sequentially the use of Latin, Hebrew, and Aramaic loanwords and phrases.  And he explores cogently how these items would have influenced early readers.  For example, the Aramaic loanwords/phrases are largely on the lips of Jesus.  This, Delgado Gomez proposes, would have given to the character of Jesus in the GMark what we might call “local color”, and gave readers a sense of hearing occasional words of Jesus in his own language.”

As I state below more directly regarding Chapter 13, the author of Mark seems to have intentionally left most OT allusions dangling (i.e. not explicit) in order for them to be interpreted according to the reader’s teaching or disposition. In a sense, the non-referenced passages, of which there are many, could be perceived as overwrites or omissions of the original texts of the OT in the spirit of Christ’s New Covenant. In fact, in some of the Verses, this new teaching seems to either represent something quite different, often with a new spin (1:21-27, 2:5-12, 2:18-22, 6:1-6, 13:11, 13:14-17, 13:28-31, 13:32-37, 14:32-41, 15:34-39,) or admonish some of the old teachings (3:3-5, 4:13-20, 7:9-13, 12:1-11, 12:18-27, 12:35-38, 14:59-65.)

Again, Mark was theoretically written first (GosThom could have been written beforehand.) Furthermore, the potential exists that Mark relied on GosThom as discussed previously in the Johannine Secessionists and Final on My Personal Canon Sections. Mark leaves out almost all the explicit OT references that GosMatt & GosLuke emphatically add back (again, in order to be inline with Justin Martyr’s belief that the OT’s & NT’s history should be intertwined.) 

I believe Mark sees this notion differently, just as the Johannine School has very few references to the OT in GosJohn, let alone ApJohn & TriProt. Ironically, of the treatises being discussed here, ApJohn appears to have explicitly referenced the OT the most in order to make the case that its inclusion in the Canon was at best superfluous, particularly given how wrong parts of the Hebrew Bible actually were to the drafters! This approach could be construed to demonstrate the correctness of Christ’s new teaching to understand God—the true Father as described in ApJohn & TriProt. Jesus might acknowledge the correctness of some of the teaching in the OT, often times not correctly followed by Israel at the time, but Christ’s New Covenant (from the Father) is what Mark is all about to me. 

As we’ll see at the end of the next section, it is quite possible that there were effectively two missions being accomplished simultaneously, one representing Christ’s and Father’s, the other representing the fulfillment of OT prophesy. You really have to carve out the salient Verses in GosMark as I do believe this book was written with the two entirely different audiences in mind. Note the similarity of this reasoning with the end of the TriProt:

  • “I was dwelling in them in the form of each one. The Archons thought that I was their Christ. Indeed, I dwell in everyone. Indeed, within those in whom I revealed myself as Light, I eluded the Archons. I am their beloved, for in that place I clothed myself as the son of the Archgenitor, and I was like him until the end of his decree, which is the ignorance of Chaos. And among the angels I revealed myself in their likeness, and among the Powers, as if I were one of them; but among the Sons of Man, as if I were a Son of Man, even though I am Father of everyone.”
  • “As for me, I put on Jesus. I bore him from the cursed wood, and established him in the dwelling places of his Father. And those who watch over their dwelling places did not recognize me. For I, I am unrestrainable, together with my seed; and my seed, which is mine, I shall place into the holy Light within an incomprehensible Silence. Amen.”

GosMark & GosJohn are quite similar on several points. Many people get caught up on genealogy and other elements of history, but it’s right before our eyes. GosMatt & GosLuke get so caught up on their respective points regarding tying the Old Testament to the New Testament that Christ’s New Covenant gets lost in the translation. Just by reading sections of GosJohn and GosMark, it’s clear how much Christ admonishes the teachings of the Old Testament.