368

James 5: In the appendix, the question of Jesus’ kinship is posed

Berlin, Potsdamer Strasse, 12.11.1989
Berlin, Potsdamer Strasse, 12.11.1989

which is of particular interest to Jewish Christians: Does the blood relationship count, which favors Jewish Christians, or the relationship of the Spirit, which makes all Christians equal?

Answer: There are no privileges for Jewish Christians, all Christians are equal, only the kinship of the Spirit and the following of Jesus counts, 3:20-35.

367

James 4: Another compromise proposal:

Berlin, Victory Column, 11.11.1989
Berlin, Victory Column, 11.11.1989

If the Sabbath is basically no longer valid, can’t the Gentile Christians accommodate the Jewish Christians to such an extent that at least the healings are not performed on the Sabbath but on another day?

The answer is again: No, the Jewish religious laws fall away without substitution. Here the Jewish authorities separate from Jesus, the people run to him, 3:7-12, disciples (apostles) are called, 3:13,19.

366

James 3: The 2nd Jewish-Christian section is devoted to the question:

Berlin, Victory Column, 11.11.1989
Berlin, Victory Column, 11.11.1989

What Jewish religious laws apply in the community of Jesus? This is exemplified by the question of fasting and Sabbath observance, 2:18-3:6.

The basic question is: Do the disciples of Jesus have to fast? Answer: No. Now a compromise offer is formulated: Couldn’t the Jesus disciples at least fast on the Sabbath? Answer: No.

365

James 2: In 2:21-12 the initial question is varied again:

Berlin, Reichstag, 11.11.1989
Berlin, Reichstag, 11.11.1989

Now the moral level is touched: After the external conflict (ability) and the internal conflict (will), the problem is once again aggravated as a moral conflict:

May Jesus heal? May Jesus play God and cancel the punishment of the disease imposed by God? In 2:13-17 the question of forgiveness of sins is generalized.

The moral question becomes the theological one: may Jesus remove the Jewishly commanded barrier between the people of God, the Jews, and the Gentiles?

The message of the whole passage is: Yes, Jesus may heal and he did. Gentiles, if they want and believe, can belong to the people of God.

364

In the 1st section of the tradition of the church of James

Berlin, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, 11.11.1989
Berlin, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, 11.11.1989

(1:21-2:17) is about healing miracles. In 1:21-28 Jesus is attacked. Here the basic question is asked: Can Jesus heal the sick person?

In 1:40-45 the question is varied and focused on the will: The sick person wants to be healed, does Jesus want to heal him or is he not interested in the suffering of the sick person?

Yes, Jesus wants to heal him (the reader already knows that he can do this from 1:21-28), the sick person gets well.

The book to the blog:

Johannes Neumann: Der historische Jesus

Dear blog readers,

I am often asked where there is more information about the questions from the blog.

Now my new book (in German) has been published and is now available. Here you will find the answers to all questions.

The book has a large appendix with many special topics, a total of 512 pages with 5 full- and multi-page tables, 5 maps and 8 other illustrations.


Johannes Neumann

Der historische Jesus

Die Biographie, die Botschaft, die Überlieferung. 
ISBN 9 783755 730330


The book is available from BoD.de, in Amazon.de in Germany or in bookstores. The printed book costs Euro 35.00 in Germany. The e-book costs Euro 19.99 for the introductory price of 8 weeks, then Euro 27.99.

363

The introduction of the author Mark to his gospel:

Berlin, welcome money for GDR citizens, 11.11.1989
Berlin, welcome money for GDR citizens, 11.11.1989

After the heading in 1:1, the overture 1:2-20 has the task of setting the mood for the whole poem and especially the 1st part.

Mark knows how to connect the three traditions of the Jewish Christians, the Baptist Christians and the Peter Christians (who emphasize the reception of the Spirit, Acts 2:2.14) in such a way that all Christians can feel represented.

This happens not least through the calling of the disciples who establish the four original Christian groups: Simon Peter, Andrew (representing the Greek followers of Jesus), James and John, 1:16-20.

362

The 2nd, the Jewish-Christian block of tradition

Berlin, Potsdamer Platz, 12.11.1989
Berlin, Potsdamer Platz, 12.11.1989

deals with the expulsion of Jesus. Like the scapegoat in Leviticus 16:10, Jesus is cast out, in the 1st section from the people of God (disciples, Jewish authorities), 14:26-15:1.

In the 2nd section Jesus is expelled from the human community of the Gentiles and the common people, 15:2-37. The actual suffering of Jesus is limited to this Jewish-Christian transmission block.

In the 3rd, the Baptist-Christian transmission block, it is about the restoration of Jesus’ honor, first the earthly honor, 15,38-47, then the supernatural honor of Jesus, 16,1-8.

The book to the blog:

Johannes Neumann: Der historische Jesus

Dear blog readers,

I am often asked where there is more information about the questions from the blog.

Now my new book (in German) has been published and is now available. Here you will find the answers to all questions.

The book has a large appendix with many special topics, a total of 512 pages with 5 full- and multi-page tables, 5 maps and 8 other illustrations.


Johannes Neumann

Der historische Jesus

Die Biographie, die Botschaft, die Überlieferung. 
ISBN 9 783755 730330


The book is available from BoD.de, in Amazon.de in Germany or in bookstores. The printed book costs Euro 35.00 in Germany. The e-book costs Euro 19.99 for the introductory price of 8 weeks, then Euro 27.99.

361

In the 2nd part there are again three tradition blocks

Berlin, Trabbis at Check Point Charlie, 12.11.1989
Berlin, Trabbis at Check Point Charlie, 12.11.1989

of the three individual Christian churches Jewish Christians, Baptist Christians and Peter Christians.

The short tradition block of the Peter Christians includes only one section, which closes with the Lord’s Supper with the twelve disciples, 14:1-25.

Here the work of Jesus among the disciples finds its climax and conclusion.

The book to the blog:

Johannes Neumann: Der historische Jesus

Dear blog readers,

I am often asked where there is more information about the questions from the blog.

Now my new book (in German) has been published and is now available. Here you will find the answers to all questions.

The book has a large appendix with many special topics, a total of 512 pages with 5 full- and multi-page tables, 5 maps and 8 other illustrations.


Johannes Neumann

Der historische Jesus

Die Biographie, die Botschaft, die Überlieferung. 
ISBN 9 783755 730330


The book is available from BoD.de, in Amazon.de in Germany or in bookstores. The printed book costs Euro 35.00 in Germany. The e-book costs Euro 19.99 for the introductory price of 8 weeks, then Euro 27.99.

360

In the 1st part of the Gospel of Mark there are three blocks of tradition,

Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate, 11.11.1989
Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate, 11.11.1989

beginning with healing miracles 1:21, with parables 4:1 and with natural miracles 6:30.

These tradition blocks of the James Christians, the Anabaptist Christians and the Peter Christians are divided into a 1st section, in which Jesus is recognized as the sovereign victor, 2:17; 4:41; 7:37.

In a 2nd section, the separation from the opponents is at the end, 3:6; 6:3; 8:15, and the turning to the disciples. In a 3rd section, special material of the individual church is added.

In the 4th block of passages follows the tradition of the Jewish Christians about Judea and Jerusalem, from 10:1, to which there is no equivalent of the Anabaptist and Peter Christians. Jesus’ work in Jerusalem marks the climax and conclusion of his ministry in public.

359

Before Mark presents the traditions of his sources, he brings

Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate, 11.11.1989
Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate, 11.11.1989

an introduction of his own. In the most important narratives of the three traditions that Mark had, the three disciples James, John, Peter become witnesses of the events, 5:37; 9:2; 14:33.

Through the testimony of their progenitors, the Jewish Christians, the Baptist Christians and the Peter Christians are sworn to the three events of resurrection, exaltation and suffering as the three main points of the common confession of faith.

358

The fragmentation of Christians into three individual churches

Berlin, Brandenburg Gate, 11.11.1989
Berlin, Brandenburg Gate, 11.11.1989

is to be ended with the Gospel of Mark. The unified Christian church is to take its place, 9:6.

Mark divides the Gospel into two parts: 1. the triumph of Jesus chapters 1-12 and 2. the suffering of Jesus chapters 13-16,8. The verses 16,9-20 are not included in the oldest manuscripts, they were added to the Gospel later.

Characteristics of the structure are the superscription 1:1, which also applies to part 1 (gospel), and the subheading in 13:1-2 for part 2 (suffering), the key word arche (beginning, foundation) from 1:1 is repeated in 13:8.

Further formal characteristics are the four disciples Peter, Andrew, James, John in 1:16.19 and 13:3, the prophecy in 1:2-3 from the Old Testament and in 13 the prophecies of Jesus as well as the addressing of the themes of part 1 (gospel) and part 2 (suffering) at the beginning of the respective part.

357

In the structure of the gospel

Berlin, Brandenburg Gate, 11.11.1989
Berlin, Brandenburg Gate, 11.11.1989

I assume that James, John and Peter, the three pillars of the Jerusalem church from Galatians 2:9, denote three original Christian groups with their own traditions.

Mark puts these different traditions together for the first time.

According to 9:5, Peter wants to erect three temple tents for the law (Moses), prophecy (Elijah) and the new covenant (Jesus).

The three temple tents are symbols for the original Christian currents Jewish Christians (James), Baptist Christians (John) and Spiritual Christians (Peter, Christian gnosis).

356

Mark is a poet, his Gospel a poetry, a prose epic in the style of the time.

Jesus Seminar October 2009 in Santa Rosa, California; Woodstock veteran with wife, German theologian
Jesus Seminar October 2009 in Santa Rosa, California; Woodstock veteran with wife, German theologian

The Gospel of Mark is only accessible to a literary analysis, but then reveals the great spiritual richness of early Christianity beside and after Paul.

Mark does not yet have Christian models to fall back on, he ties his writing to Greek and Roman literature. He uses narrative motifs from Christian tradition and pagan poetry.

The religious ideas in Mark come from all areas of ancient religions, especially from the areas of astrology, alchemy and religious ruler worship.

General references to the history of religion are found so frequently in Mark’s Gospel that it seems useful to bring them back into the scholarly discourse.

355

When the church ship ran into heavy seas after the sinking of Jerusalem,

Jesus Seminar October 2009 in Santa Rosa, California; Professor Helmut Koester (1926-2016)
Jesus Seminar October 2009 in Santa Rosa, California; Professor Helmut Koester (1926-2016)

Mark gave the slogan: Wake up the sleeping Jesus! (4:38), to remember Jesus.

It was no longer the disciples and apostles of the first generation who, like Paul, could boast of their immediacy to God, Galatians 1:11-12, who led the church.

It was Christians of the second generation who united the church with human energy, 9:39 and placed it on the basis (arche 1:1) of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

354

Mark also draws a comparison of the Jewish war with the Roman civil war of 69 AD.

Jesus Seminar October 2009 in Santa Rosa, California; The conference management
Jesus Seminar October 2009 in Santa Rosa, California; The conference management

In Rome, the new emperor Vespasian, the Roman commander at the beginning of the war in Judea, had quickly established order by following the great emperor Augustus.

Vespasian, however, no longer saw himself as a god like his predecessors from the noble family of Augustus, but as a human being who ordered the commonwealth with human energy and with reverence for the real gods.