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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mark's Gospel: The Gopsel Preached by Peter, funded by and created for sailors?

Eusebius, History of the Church 6.14.6; traditionally translated:

While Peter was preaching the word publicly in Rome
and speaking out the gospel by the spirit,
those who were present,
who were many,
called upon Mark,
as having followed him from far back and remembering what was said,
to write up the things that were said,
and having made the gospel
he gave it out to those who had requested it.

With Greek word pictures and reiteration, it reads loosely as:

Peter, publicly in public places in Rome,
Heralded and preached, crying out the declarative Word
And spirituality (of) the Gospel.

That it go out to Pontus
[or rather, to Sea],
Those (persons) present -- in truth, certainly many --
Summoned and invited Mark;
As in which manner, perhaps, an attendant follower who might succeed him
From a place at a distance,
And recall to mind, remembering the (very) licks of the words that were spoken
As public records/ recordings.
The Conclusion - what is made a work or creation, then;
the Gospel, bestowed and imparted, given to the company of those
who had earnestly begged, requesting him (for it).

It appears that the proclamation of exeipontos may be read as if
exeimi (to go out to ), and Pontos (Pontus, Sea).

That is, those sailors who travel and merchant between Pontos of the Black Sea and Rome.

The next break, as I read it, follows anagraphai. The preceding word of lechthenton has a three letter root of interest: Lech, which could be stated as "leicho", used in Luke 16:21's "hapeleichon" (licked), meaning “licks”.

For Mark to have to remember the very “licks” of the words of Peter, he would have to be one who accompanied as also proclaimed, with "the precise licks of the tongue" as "precise enunciations". the same Gospel Peter spoke…and to then remember the very licks or enunciations he spake himself, as he translated or echoed the words Peter proclaimed publicly.

In other words, the Gospel of Mark were not “private” teachings…they were “public” proclamations aimed at conversion of the masses. In the case of Polycarp, a bishop of Smyrna who served under John, the motivation was to save people from damnation to an eternal fire that will never be quenched (in the after-life, which would thence be the after-death or second death of them) if they did not convert.

Eusebius also uses the Gospel proclamation as a “logon”, as though a declarative word or reason of historical reality, the same as Clement of Alexandria did, who mentioned a story that was not a story, but a “logos“ / “ declarative word” in “The rich man who finds salvation”, (.42).
Interestingly enough, in that same opening of Clement of Alexandria's “declarative word“ of the rich man in chapter 42, we see that the use of his word “Tyrant”, when used in “The Martyrdom of Polycarp”, .2, was clearly projected as being the “proconsul” of Asia (.3,9,10,11), named Philip (.12), who ordered Polycarp to his death.

So if the region of Pontus had a like tyrant proconsul, what would be the motivation of Mark to write a Gospel for those from Pontus, since he never settled there…or took authority there…but rather ended up in Egypt? Not much.

Outside of Israel, Alexandria held the largest Israeli / Jewish population/concentration in the Roman Empire (according to Josephus). It was specifically a Judean allied stronghold, and the Apostles were, for the most part, Galilean. A like comparison that we might identify with, is that Galileans (in the eyes of many Judeans) were practically despised, as if their bias was like Yankee northerners by a Confederate south in the post-civil war days of our own history. And remember, even under Herod I the Great, and in the years ff. (such as Judas the Galileean, arch-robber who burned down part of Sepphoris) there were many violent and bloody internal conflicts and civil war surges.

Complications arise in confrontations about the past, or in regard to political-religious persuasions more in some places, rather than others. Perhaps Alexandria, until the mid-50s was such a place. For someone like Mark, there would have been a sort of an attraction to proclaim in a very populous city that was largely untouched by the Apostles. It was ideal.

Mark ended his life a leader and a martyr, not just anywhere...he did so in Egypt, and in the third largest city in the Roman Empire...the bread-basket export and “sailor’s” hub of Rome, as it were.

Therefore, we ought to read Eusebius to this effect:

Peter, publicly in public places in Rome,
Heralded and preached, crying out the declarative Word
And spirituality (of) the Gospel.

That it go out to Sea,
Those (persons) present -- in truth, certainly many --
Summoned and invited Mark...

We then have hos an akolouthesanta, which speaks of not just an attendant, but of a student able to carry his teacher’s words and succeed him. This hints to us, that there, in June of 57 A.D., a bunch of merchant sailors offered Mark a position as succeeding Peter as an evangelist, 12 days out to Sea in Alexandria of Egypt, if perhaps he could prove his salt by calling to mind the public proclamations of Peter...as it were.

Satellite Interpreters?

We know that the Apostles and their followers vetted the Gospel of Mark. Mark, the one who "from a distance proclaimed publicly (and interpreted) his teacher as if an echo, was likely -- what I express and call -- a Satellite Interpreter.

What is a Satellite Interpreter? A Satellite Interpreter is a probable, but for now theoretic, application of a literary explanation from the Greek, of how the ancient speakers may be projected as having communicated to great crowds of many tens or hundreds of thousands in ancient times. He would need a clear and loud voice, and a very keen ear.

All of the disciples of Jesus -- if this theory is correct -- should be expected to have fulfilled this very same role in and during the ministry of Christ, on at least dozens of occasions when He spoke to multitudes.

The Satellite Interpreter and other relay speakers would stand at a predetermined distance from the one speaking. Either they would surround the speaker, as though equally spaced satellite around a planet, or they could fan out in a semi-circle. The speaker would say a sentence, perhaps several.

The Speaker would pause. Either the Satellite Interpreter would repeat the words as a megaphone in the same language, or he would exactly interpret, word for word, what the speaker said. In the days of Moses, the Captains of the thousands and hundreds would have had to fulfill this, to project Moses words across a distance area occupied by 600,000 soldiers and their families (numbering well over 2,000,000).

The crowds that gathered multi-nationally (such as even in New Testament Rome) would probably have looked for a flag, banner, or something that distinguished the Satellite Interpreter, so that he or she could gravitate immediately to the language they were familiar with, to understand what was being said.

Thus, the art of mass throng speaking, in these ancient times, was dependent upon being able to strike a speak-and-pause rhythm that would not overtake one’s own Satellites. This art of speaking was also used in the arenas, whether or not megaphones were available.

As you read the Gospel of Mark, you read a work that is based exclusively on the recording (or oral stenography, if you will) of the Satellite Interpreter Mark and the public evangelical utterances of an aged, and disabled by his age, Peter in Rome.

Peter's Age in Rome speculated:

Peter and Paul were killed in Rome under the reign of a (ca.) 20 year old Nero on June 29, 57 A.D.

This was some 27 years after the Crucifixion - Death - Resurrection -Ascension of Jesus.

In Acts 15:7 ff., we see that Peter gives up the reigns of primary evangelical preaching to the Gentiles over to Paul and Barnabas.

As a priest and leader of a neo-Sanhedrin, having created a parallelSanhedrin with like rules and religious observances to a great degree, Peter would have likely had to have stepped down in his leadership role of such a Sanhedrin after age 60.

The last leadership role he appears to have is after the death of James -- between 37 and 44 A.D., when Paul and Barnabas were commissioned to preach to the Gentiles following the death of Herod the tetrarch in ca. 41-44 A.D.

So if we benchmark Peter at age 60 in 44 A.D., or perhaps as old as 70 in the May 47 A.D. (the maximum of 10 years after the death of James, if James died in 37) -- we then see from the 47 A.D. Jerusalem conference of Acts 15, that we can potentially date Peter's birth as something to the effect of circa 24 - 17 B.C.

This would make Peter between 43 and 50 when he was called by Jesus to leave his boat in circa September A.D. 26, and between 46 and 53 years old when Christ was crucified in March of A.D. 30. Peter, then, would have been between 71 and 78 when he assisted Paul in founding the Churches of Rome, and between 73 and 80 when he was crucified in Rome, on June 29, 57 A.D. In the harsh conditions of the First Century, to have maintained such an age must have brought about attentative looks.

This age factor may alsobe used to explain Peter's brashness (in the Gospel accounts) as if he were trying to out-zeal the younger disciples about him, who he felt threatened by (because of his middle age).

This (above) age estimate of Peter also falls perfectly with the prophecy of Jesus in John 21, saying:

18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

You are not young now, nor above age 50 as yet. But... you will take up your Cross (literally after a sense) as well.

And following this, when he does so take up his Cross, he will (under a dual application of prophecy) be (potentially) old and feeble (as well), not able to dress himself ...firstly dressed and transported by assistants; and when under arrest, he would be dressed by servants and carried off by the guards on the other.

Remember, John likely wrote this Gospel in the weeks or months just following the deaths of Peter and Paul …so we are also being informed of Peter’s state at the end in a “post-prophecy” hindsight.

Therefore, though an old man performing great miracles and healings and witnessing in Rome from May 55 to May 57 (when he was imprisoned by the 30th of May, 57)...Peter would have had great need for the satellite interpreters, human megaphones, to sound forth the Gospel to a hustling and bustling filthy city of well over one million souls, of every language and dialect, from all over the Empire.

And indeed, this system of "satellite interpreters" would have had to be a reality -- after the Israeli national custom -- dating back to Moses day.

So when Mark went to Alexandria, following his delivering Luke’s writing of Paul’s Gospel (Hebrews) and his own Gospel witness to John in Ephesus of Asia; and his pressing on to Jerusalem where a portion of Mark was then taken in the fall of 57 and preserved in Qumran Cave 7 with Dead Sea Scrolls...after visiting these places, it is likely that Alexandria also saw Mark following the Feast of Tabernacles come among them in the first days of November 57 A.D. There, at the harbor and amongst the sailors who already would have honored him by reputation already...the same method used that was used by Peter in Rome, was now employed by Mark and the students of him, along the docks and public places of Alexandria. And despite Mark dying in or about 62 A.D., the churches he founded by succession exist unto this day in the Coptic Churches of Christianity. And these, too, are our brethren in the L-RD. Welcome to them, and Amen.

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