Theater 4: In Mark 1:42, the leper runs away from the sick person
as James and John run away from their father Zebedee in 1,20. One has the impression that Mark is thinking of a theater scene in which the sick person wears the old skin with the leprosy like an old dress.
In 1:42 another actor comes and takes away the old garment (the old skin) and underneath the new clean skin appears as a beautiful new garment
Today I interrupt the normal text to tell something about myself.
I am Johannes Neumann, I live near Dresden in Germany. Since my youth I have been interested in Christianity, its origin and the Bible.
Besides that, I am interested in archaeology and the history of the Ancient Near East, Greek and Roman antiquity and their literature. There is so much information there that helps us to better understand the Bible and the history of Jesus and early Christianity.
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in real life, Leviticus 13:45, only on the theater stage do they meet. That a leper meets Jesus 1:40 is only possible in the theater.
While the leper is allowed to approach Jesus with impunity, Jesus apparently does not feel the helplessness of the lame man, 2:4. The show interlude of lowering the sick man from the roof seems strange in real life.
With theatrical technology, even ancient, it was easily possible. For the spectators, it was a fun show that stuck in their memory and carried the message. That was what mattered to Mark.
Theater 2: In Matthew there is no longer a baptizing John
in the desert, but it is John with the epithet the Baptist who preaches in the desert.
Luke, the historically interested evangelist, mentions the desert only as the place of the divine instruction to John and has the Baptist preach at the Jordan right away
The desert in which John preaches in Mark is therefore not a real one, but a theatrical desert, the spiritual emptiness in the minds and hearts of the people to whom John preaches conversion, a new beginning.
Symbolism 2: The great silence, 4:39, is in the Hellenistic philosophy of Epicurus
and later in the whole ancient philosophy a symbol for the mental balance, which is the goal of the philosophical instruction.
The calming of the storm, which is described as an actual event, is therefore of the same character. If this is so, one may ask: Does Mark commit the reader to the interpretation as historical narrative or parable?
Or does the evangelist give his audience a freedom of interpretation to choose one or the other? Is the reader allowed to decide whether to see the story as real or as a parable?
Continuation 5: 6. The Resolution of the External Conflict: Only the Actual Healing
brings the resolution of the conflict on the outer level. In Mark, the resolution of the conflict (the healing process is not described) is followed by an instruction for action: here in 2:11, as in 1:44, it is about a confirmation of the actual healing by the Jewish authorities.
The confirmation not only frees Jesus from the accusation of charlatanism, the scribes who just criticized Jesus now have to confirm his miracle healing.
Continuation 2: 3. The Moral Conflict: In 2:1-12, the most detailed
healing story in Mark, the reader expects a quick healing after the sick man’s helpers went to so much trouble to bring him to Jesus.
But Jesus makes the reader squirm. Like in a beautiful romance novel, where the lovers are in each other’s arms only after many obstacles and misunderstandings, Mark builds delays into the plot to increase the tension.
Continuation 1: 1. The external conflict: In 1:21-28 Mark describes an
external conflict between two persons. A sick man (evil spirit) attacks Jesus with words, Jesus has to defend himself.
The inner conflict: In 1:40-45 the preceding is already presupposed. Like the reader, the sick man knows that Jesus can heal, 1:40.
Here we are dealing with the inner conflict. Does the sick person want to be healed? Does he believe in Jesus? Does Jesus want to heal him or does Jesus choose his patients according to certain criteria such as neediness, moral qualities or affiliation to Judaism?