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2 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2012 - 2:40PM #1
Son_of_Thunder
Posts: 326

"John Mark of Jerusalem, companion to the Apostle Peter, wrote the book bearing his name"-Insight on the Scriptures, Volume II

SOT:the Jw's "Insight book" claims that John Mark of Jerusalem claims that Mark wrote the book bearing his name. Should we believe them? I am an evidence man. I respond to evidence, not tradition. What about you? What evidence does the Society present when they say you should believe them?

"Just as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: "Look! I am sending forth my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way; listen! someone is crying out in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way of YHWH, you people, make his roads straight,'"-Mark 1:2,3 NWT (brackets dropped, emphasis-mine)

SOT: Those with the NWT, please cross reference the first statement by Mark. You will find that Mark doesn't have a clue what he's quoting!

"Look!, I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up the way before me...[snip]"-Malachi 3:1 NWT

SOT: Mark was actually quoting from Malachi, not Isaiah as he claims! How can the divinely inspired christian jew screw up like that? Sounds kinda minor? Ok, there's plenty more! How about Mark's ignorance of geographical Israel?

"Now when they were getting near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, he dispatched two of his disciples...[snip]"-Mark 11:1 NWT

SOT: ATTENTION JWS!! PLEASE PULL OUT YOUR "See the Good Land" Publication. For the novice, this is the publication that is full of maps and stuff that correspondes with certain eras of the bible. I am going to use the Society's own maps to destroy the fallacies surrounding Mark! hahaha

On the Jericho road heading to Jerusalem, it's BETHANY that comes first! Then Bethphage second! Not the other way around. Please look it up for your self. Again, a christian apologist may not find this significant enough to doubt the John Mark of Jerusalem wrote the book of Mark. Fine, I've got more!

"Now coming back out of the regions of Tyre he went through Sidon to the sea of Galilee up through the midst of the regions of Decapolis..." Mark 7:31 NWT

SOT: This is similar to saying that one goes from London to Paris by way of Edinburgh and Rome! Someone give Mark a GPS, because he is clearly not directly aquainted with 1st century Palestine!

Please consider one of my sources: Saint Mark by Dennis Nineham(1963) he's very thorough in his way of taking "Mark" to task.

Geographical ignorance isn't enough my christian friends?

-SOT

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2012 - 2:59PM #2
Son_of_Thunder
Posts: 326

OK, how about cultural and religious ignorance?

"And when they[pharisees] saw some of his disciples eat their meal with defiled hands, that is, unwashed ones-for the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the elbow, holding fast the tradition of men of former times...[snip]-Mark 7:2,3 NWT emphasis-mine

SOT:In the time of Jesus, the Talmud's ritual hand washing before meals was obligatory only on the priests!! John Mark of Jerusalem was born and raised a Jew. He would of known this! But the author of the Mark obviously didn't! 

I'm not done exposing Mark for who he's not. Let's move on to Biblical ignorance!

"You know the commandments, 'Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother'-Mark 10:19, NWT emphasis mine

SOT: Once again, Mark missses the mark. Jesus was suppose to be quoting the ten commandments. But "Mark" mistakenly adds "do not defraud"? John Mark would of known the ten commandments blindfolded! The author of the book of Mark didn't. Lets examine another example of Mark's ignorance of the bible...


"But he said to [the Pharisees]:"Have you never once read what David did when he fell in need and got hungry, he and the men with him? How he entered into the house of God, in the account about Abiathar the chief priest, and ate the loaves of presentation, which it is not lawful for anybody to eat except the priests...[snip]"-Mark 2:24,25 NWT emphasis mine


SOT: 1 Samuel tells us that Ahimelech was the chief priest at the time, not Abiathar. Mark, supposedly guided by the holy spirit, is inaccurate in his recollection of the account. Matthew and Luke, his synoptic brethren, silently correct Mark's mistake. Compare Matt 12:3 and Luke 6:4.


Any single piece of evidence alone that I've posted may be easily brushed aside by the average student of the bible. But together?!


I await a response from the Society's Writing Committee...I won't be holding my breathe. :)


-SOT

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2012 - 5:22PM #3
Newtonian
Posts: 12,145

SOT - I am not a member of the Societies writing committee - far from it!   Curious why you would expect them to respond on this forum????


However, we certainly believe Mark wrote Mark.  


I do not have time at the moment to address all those details (I intend to later), but I will address one of your points now -


(Mark 1:2, 3) . . .Just as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “(Look! I am sending forth my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way;) 3 listen! someone is crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Jehovah, YOU people, make his roads straight,’”


"Speaking from his lofty throne in heaven, the Great Judge says: “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me.” (Malachi 3:1a) Who was that “messenger”? Bible writer Mark combines the prophecies of Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 and applies both of them to John the Baptizer. (Mark 1:1-4) Jesus Christ, too, later identified John as that “messenger.” (Matthew 11:10-14)" - "The Watchtower ,6/15/87, p. 12


The parallel account, in Matthew 3:3, quotes only Isaiah - Mark adds a cross reference in harmony with what Isaiah said.


If someone else doesn't beat me to it, I will be glad to address your other points later.


Oh, one other point - this is a manuscript variant - some translations do not contain the word "Isaiah" (e.g. KJV)   However, Clarke's commentary notes:


Mar 1:2


 


As it is written in the prophets -


Rather, As it is written by Isaiah the prophet. I think this reading should be adopted, instead of that in the common text. It is the reading of the Codex Bezae, Vatican, and several other MSS. of great repute. It is found also in the Syriac, Persic, Coptic, Armenian, Gothic, Vulgate, and Itala versions, and in several of the fathers. As this prophecy is found both in Isaiah and Malachi, probably the reading was changed to


τοις προφηταις, the prophets, that it might comprehend both. In one of Asseman’s Syriac copies, both Isaiah and Malachi are mentioned. See all the authorities in Griesbach, 2d edit.; and see the parallel place in Matthew, Mat_3:3, where the Prophet Isaiah is mentioned, which seems fully to establish the authority of this reading.


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2 years ago  ::  Mar 16, 2012 - 10:44AM #4
Newtonian
Posts: 12,145

Son of Thunder:  Not able to post often? - no problem, I will have the same problem next week.


You posted Mark 10:19 - with context:


(Mark 10:17-19) 17 And as he was going out on his way, a certain man ran up and fell upon his knees before him and put the question to him: "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?" 18 Jesus said to him: "Why do you call me good? Nobody is good, except one, God. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’"


You then posted:


SOT: Once again, Mark missses the mark. Jesus was suppose to be quoting the ten commandments. But "Mark" mistakenly adds "do not defraud"? John Mark would of known the ten commandments blindfolded! The author of the book of Mark didn't. Lets examine another example of Mark's ignorance of the bible...


Your error is obvious - Jesus when referring the commandments in the law did not restrict himself to the 10 commandments - Mark added another of the commandments Jesus referred to, namely: Do not defraud.


cf.: (Leviticus 19:13) . . .You must not defraud your fellow, . . .


On another occasion Jesus was asked what the greatest commandments were in the law - and they also are not part of the 10 commandments but rather a part of the body of c. 600 laws in Mosaic Law Covenant.


(Matthew 22:34-40) . . .After the Pharisees heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they came together in one group. 35 And one of them, versed in the Law, asked, testing him: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37 He said to him: "‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 The second, like it, is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets."


Notice that these two commandments are not in the law - in fact the second greatest commandment comes from the same chapter of Leviticus as does the commandment "Do not Defraud" (Lev. 19:13) namely:


(Leviticus 19:18) . . .you must love your fellow as yourself. . . .


And the greatest commandment is from Deuteronomy 6:3,4  - again not the 10 commandments.  Christendom attaches the greatest significance to the 10 commandments - Jehovah's Witnesses do not, but rather we attach the greatest significance to the two greatest commandments in the law which Jesus emphasized.  As in Mark 10, Mark adds more detail than Matthew - including more of what Jesus quoted in the conversation - note that while Mark is the shortest gospel, this account about the greatest commandments is the longest of the gospel accounts, to wit:


(Mark 12:28-34) . . . Now one of the scribes that had come up and heard them disputing, knowing that he had answered them in a fine way, asked him: "Which commandment is first of all?" 29 Jesus answered: "The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, 30 and you must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your whole strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 The scribe said to him: "Teacher, you well said in line with truth, ‘He is One, and there is no other than He’; 33 and this loving him with one’s whole heart and with one’s whole understanding and with one’s whole strength and this loving one’s neighbor as oneself is worth far more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 At this Jesus, discerning he had answered intelligently, said to him: "You are not far from the kingdom of God." . . .


So, for example, Mark shows Jesus included the fact that Jehovah is one - an important part of the Jewish shema - in quoting Deuteronomy - which does indeed say:


(Deuteronomy 6:4, 5) 4 "Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. 5 And you must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your vital force.


Note again that while Deut.6:4,5 is the most imporant commandment in the law - it is NOT part of the 10 commandments.


Note: Brenton English LXX -


(Brenton)  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and all thy strength. - Deut. 6:5


Brenton apparently links Greek cardias to mind.   Cp. Luke 10:27.  Of course, loving Jehovah with our whole soul (Gr. psyche) also includes the mind - if fact, it includes our whole "self" (synonym for soul).  


Rather than quibling over these details, I would suggest concentrating on obeying the two greatest commandments!

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2012 - 4:18PM #5
Son_of_Thunder
Posts: 326

Newt: I am not a member of the Societies writing committee - far from it!   Curious why you would expect them to respond on this forum????


SOT: I don't care in what manner they respond. I just want one. These points aren't my own. Scholars have been aware of them for the better part of 200 years.


I have yet to see the publication that responds to the real problems of the Gospel of Mark.


Newt: However, we certainly believe Mark wrote Mark.


SOT:Based on what? I've read your Insight book. The FDS admits that 2 things that's damaging to your belief structure surrounding Mark.


1. Mark is an anonymous manuscript.


2. It's Christian tradition that's responsible for what you do believe about Mark's gospel.


FDS:"Speaking from his lofty throne in heaven, the Great Judge says: “Look! I am sending my messenger, and he must clear up a way before me.” (Malachi 3:1a) Who was that “messenger”? Bible writer Mark combines the prophecies of Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 and applies both of them to John the Baptizer. (Mark 1:1-4) Jesus Christ, too, later identified John as that “messenger.” (Matthew 11:10-14)" - "The Watchtower ,6/15/87, p. 12


SOT: I know that Malachi 3 is quoted here. What I'm saying that is Mark attributed that entire text to Isaiah. He is wrong.


Matthew and Luke both noticed Mark's mistake(they both used Mark as a source), and corrected it in there own gospels.


Newt:The parallel account, in Matthew 3:3, quotes only Isaiah - Mark adds a cross reference in harmony with what Isaiah said.


SOT:In other words, Matthew didn't repeat Mark's mistake. :)

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2012 - 4:30PM #6
Son_of_Thunder
Posts: 326

Newt:(responding to Mark 10) Your error is obvious - Jesus when referring the commandments in the law did not restrict himself to the 10 commandments - Mark added another of the commandments Jesus referred to, namely: Do not defraud.


SOT: Fair enough response to Mark 10. Round two to Newtonian.


Newt:Rather than quibling over these details, I would suggest concentrating on obeying the two greatest commandments!


SOT: aahh, but the devil is in the details Newtonian. :)


No one else cares to jump in an embarrass themselves. So that just leaves you...


If I can have a request, can you response to Mark's apparent geographical ignorance of 1st century Palestine? Mark 7:31 and 11:1.


Thanks a bunch,


-SOT

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2012 - 5:39PM #7
Newtonian
Posts: 12,145

SOT - since you chose blue, my comments are in red:


SOT - since you chose blue, my comments are in red:


Apr 12, 2012 -- 4:18PM, Son_of_Thunder wrote:


Newt: I am not a member of the Societies writing committee - far from it!   Curious why you would expect them to respond on this forum????


SOT: I don't care in what manner they respond. I just want one. These points aren't my own. Scholars have been aware of them for the better part of 200 years.


As have I.  Er - but not for 200 years!Surprised


You still have not answered why you expect our governing body to respond to you in this forum???


I have yet to see the publication that responds to the real problems of the Gospel of Mark.


I do research independently, but really the points I posted are in our literature - you need me to cite our literature in my posts?


Newt: However, we certainly believe Mark wrote Mark.


SOT:Based on what? I've read your Insight book.


Really?  I already posted evidence, which you ignore.  Here is another detail:


"Analysts of Mark’s Gospel believe that he wrote for Gentile readers; he provided helpful explanations of Jewish practices. (Mark 7:3; 14:12; 15:42) Mark translates Aramaic terms that might otherwise have been lost on a non-Jewish audience. (Mark 3:17; 5:41; 7:11, 34; 15:22, 34) He uses many Latin terms and even explains common Greek words by using Latin ones. He gives the value of Jewish coins in Roman money. (Mark 12:42, ftn.) All of this seems to harmonize with the long-standing tradition that Mark penned his Gospel in Rome."- "The  Watchtower," 3/15/10, p. 9


I am citing our literature since you want response from our literature.


The rest of your post ignored my response to you - please read my posts.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2012 - 5:49PM #8
Newtonian
Posts: 12,145

Apr 12, 2012 -- 4:30PM, Son_of_Thunder wrote:


Newt:(responding to Mark 10) Your error is obvious - Jesus when referring the commandments in the law did not restrict himself to the 10 commandments - Mark added another of the commandments Jesus referred to, namely: Do not defraud.


SOT: Fair enough response to Mark 10. Round two to Newtonian.


Newt:Rather than quibling over these details, I would suggest concentrating on obeying the two greatest commandments!


SOT: aahh, but the devil is in the details Newtonian. :)


No one else cares to jump in an embarrass themselves. So that just leaves you...


If I can have a request, can you response to Mark's apparent geographical ignorance of 1st century Palestine? Mark 7:31 and 11:1.


Thanks a bunch,


-SOT




(Mark 7:31) Now coming back out of the regions of Tyre he went through Si′don to the sea of Gal′i·lee up through the midst of the regions of De·cap′o·lis.


(Mark 11:1) Now when they were getting near to Jerusalem, to Beth′pha·ge and Beth′a·ny at the Mount of Olives, he dispatched two of his disciples


I'll start with Bethany - you need to specify what you are referring to, btw.  From our Bible dictionary:


 "A village “about two miles” away from Jerusalem, the measurement used by the Gospel writer at that time being the Roman stadium, with the “fifteen stadia” mentioned by him equaling about 2.8 km (1.7 mi). (Joh 11:18, ftn) It lay on the E slope of the Mount of Olives on an ancient approach to Jerusalem from Jericho and the Jordan. (Mr 10:46; 11:1; Lu 19:29) Today the site is marked by the small village of el-ʽAzariyeh (El ʽEizariya), an Arabic name meaning “the Place of Lazarus,” located 2.5 km (1.5 mi) ESE of the Temple Mount.—PICTURE, Vol. 2, p. 950. Just as Capernaum was Jesus’ home in Galilee (Mr 2:1), Bethany might be called his home in Judea. It was the “certain village” that Jesus visited during his later Judean ministry (approximately October to December, 32 C.E.), the location of the home of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, who became beloved friends of Jesus. (Lu 10:38) Here Jesus later performed the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection.—Joh 11:1, 38-44. Six days before Jesus’ final Passover (as the weekly Sabbath began, on Nisan 8, 33 C.E.), Jesus arrived at Bethany. (Joh 12:1) Following the Sabbath (that is, at the beginning of Nisan 9) he enjoyed an evening meal in the home of Simon the leper, with Martha, Mary, and Lazarus participating. This was the scene of Mary’s anointing him with costly oil, provoking Judas’ hypocritical objections and the rebuke administered to him by Jesus. (Mt 26:6-13; Mr 14:3-9; Joh 12:2-8) By this time, too, news had reached Jerusalem that Jesus was in the vicinity, and now that the Sabbath had ended, a great crowd of the Jews flocked out to see him and the resurrected Lazarus. (Joh 12:9) The next day (still on Nisan 9) Jesus made his triumphal ride into Jerusalem, evidently over the Mount of Olives along the path from Bethany. (Mt 21:1-11; Mr 11:1-11; Lu 19:29-38) It was on the way from Bethany to Jerusalem on Nisan 10 that Jesus cursed the barren fig tree, which had completely withered by the time he and his disciples passed it the following day (Nisan 11).—Mr 11:12-14, 19, 20. " - "Insight on the Scriptures," Vol. 1, pp. 292-293

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 12, 2012 - 6:01PM #9
Newtonian
Posts: 12,145

Mark 7:31 again:


(Mark 7:31) Now coming back out of the regions of Tyre he went through Si′don to the sea of Gal′i·lee up through the midst of the regions of De·cap′o·lis.


From our "See the Good Land" brochure:


"After the Passover of 32 C.E., Jesus went north toward Tyre and Sidon, Phoenician ports. Then he extended his ministry to some of the ten Hellenized cities called the Decapolis. Jesus was near Caesarea Philippi (F2) when Peter acknowledged him as the Messiah, and the transfiguration soon followed, perhaps on Mount Hermon. Later, Jesus preached in the region of Perea, across the Jordan.—Mr 7:24-37; 8:27–9:2; 10:1; Lu 13:22, 33." - p. 28


Summary from our Great Teachere book:


 


"From the coastal region of Sidon, Jesus and his disciples head across the country, toward the headwaters of the Jordan River. They apparently ford the Jordan somewhere above the Sea of Galilee and enter the region of the Decapolis east of the sea. There they climb a mountain, but the crowds find them and bring to Jesus their lame, crippled, blind, and dumb, and many that are otherwise sick and deformed. They fairly throw them at Jesus’ feet, and he cures them. The people are amazed, as they see the mute speaking, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they praise the God of Israel."


"From the coastal region of Sidon, Jesus and his disciples head across country toward the headwaters of the Jordan River. They apparently ford the Jordan somewhere above the Sea of Galilee and enter the region of the Decapolis, east of the sea. There they climb a mountain, but the crowds find them and bring to Jesus their lame, crippled, blind, and dumb, and many that are otherwise sick and deformed. They fairly throw them at Jesus’ feet, and he cures them. The people are amazed as they see the dumb speaking, the lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they praise the God of Israel." - "The Watchtower," 11/15/87, p. 9.


Thank you for reminding me to make use of our geography brochure!


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2 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 5:10PM #10
Son_of_Thunder
Posts: 326

Newt:You still have not answered why you expect our governing body to respond to you in this forum???


SOT: In my post, I meant that the Society largely ignores these serious problems in Mark. I didn't mean I wanted a response from me personally. I wanted them to respond to the material that the Writing Committee is well aware. Scholars have presented the evidence for why they believe the anonymous writing was not written by John Mark of Jerusalem. Read the Insight Book under "Mark, gospel of". They side with christian tradition and simply ignores the evidence that contradicts the traditions. I want them to stop ignoring the professionals. Who cares about me...


Newt:Really?  I already posted evidence, which you ignore.


SOT: I've re-read your posts. You've only tried to neutralize my points. You haven't given us any reason why we should believe that John Mark of Jerusalem, companion of the Apostle Peter actually wrote Mark.


It's an anonymous manuscript Newt. Why should we believe the Society when they say that this particular man wrote this book?


Society:""Analysts of Mark’s Gospel believe that he wrote for Gentile readers; he provided helpful explanations of Jewish practices. (Mark 7:3; 14:12; 15:42)..."-WT 3/25/10


SOT: This is useless and anecdotal. But I will point out something.


Mark 7:3 actually is incorrect! According to the Torah, during Jesus time, only the priests "heldfast" the tradition of washing the hands. The author of Mark is mistaken. If we could question the real John Mark of Jerusalem, he would not of made this mistake. Mark 7:3 is proof of the bible writers ignorance of 1st century Jewish traditions. PLEASE RESPOND.


Society: "All of this seems to harmonize with the long-standing tradition that Mark penned his Gospel in Rome."- "The  Watchtower," 3/15/10, p. 9


SOT: Ancedotal evidence isn't impressive, FDS. But since were talking about ancedotal evidence...


If John Mark of Jerusalem wrote this. What does this tell us about his education level and the challenges that reality presents when we think about John Mark's background.


The text tells us that the writer was fluent in koine greek. He could speak it, read it, and write it.


John Mark was a Jewish peasant living in Palestine. His people spoke aramaic. Jew's largely kept to themselves and would of had little use of fluency in greek.


Literacy rates were 15% at best in the Roman Empire. In other words, for every 100 people living at the time, 15 of them could read and write.


Of those 15. Almost all of them had one thing in common: they had the time out of the day to be educated. They had the money to pay for the education.


The typical life of a peasant in 1st century Palestine, was hard. Unlike today, there was no middle class. There were main 2 classes where one fit in if you lived in the Roman empire during the time of Jesus.


1.The very wealthy, who enjoyed the luxury of owning slaves. They did the things needed to be done to survive. With the slaves at your beck and call, this left this class with time in their day to day lives to pursue other interests. Like an education.


2. The very poor had little means. So their day to day life consisted of "hand to mouth existence". Their time was consumed by just doing the things they needed to do to survive. 


John Mark was of been in the 2nd class.


-SOT

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