An analysis of the intercalation of Mark 11:12-25 in light of narrative criticism and the oral aspect of Mark

Ok, Il (2014-04)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Mark 11:12-25 has been identified as an intercalation or sandwich structure (A-B-A) by many scholars as consisting of three linked episodes: the cursing of the fig tree (11:12- 14), the cleaning of the temple (11:15-19), and the withered fig tree (11:20-25). Using the function of intercalation, Mark 11:12-25 is then interpreted symbolically as a prophecy of the destruction of the temple. This interpretation, however, the researcher argues, is implausible. To substantiate this claim, the research aims to interpret Mark 11:12-25 in the light of narrative criticism and the oral aspect of Mark. Chapter 2 lays the basic foundation for the current research. This includes a brief history of the study of Mark, the historical interpretation of Mark 11:12-25, a comparison between Matthew and Mark, and of studies concerned with intercalation. Various differing opinions of intercalation are given that complicate our understanding of its function. The main goal of chapter 3 is to examine Mark 11:12-25 according to three narrative elements, namely setting, characters and events. On the grounds that every scene in Mark 11 is connected naturally in the time and space setting, it will be argued that Mark did not arrange the two stories in Mark 11:12-25 as intercalation with a theological purpose. Although some argue that the two stories do not fit the character of Jesus, on the contrary, it will be argued that both stories strengthens the authority and power of Jesus as it is depicted in the Gospel of Mark. If Jesus teaching is considered (11:20-25), then the symbolic interpretation of the prophecy of the destruction of the temple cannot be sustained. Chapter 4 deals with the oral aspect of Mark. Mark’s community were in all likelihood not readers, but hearers. Dewey offers some characteristics of oral narratives, particularly their additive and aggregative structures and their participatory character. These, she argues, helps the reader to interpret the various aspects of Mark that have divided both scholars and literary critics of the Gospel. Therefore, the fig tree story and the temple story will be examined in the light of the oral aspect of Mark. The final chapter will offer a summary of each chapter and a synthesized conclusion.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Om Markus 11:12-25 korrek te interpreteer is vir 'n lang tyd reeds ʼn debatteerbare saak. Die gedeelte word dikwels as 'n invoeging (A-B-A) geïdentifiseer wat uit drie verweefde episodes bestaan: die vloek van die vyeboom (11:12-14), die skoonmaak van die tempel (11:15-19), en die verdorde vyeboom (11:20-25). Deur klem te lê op die funksie van die invoeging, interpreteer baie geleerdes Markus 11:12-25 as 'n simboliese voorspelling van die vernietiging van die tempel. Hierdie interpretasie, argumenteer die navorser egter, is onhoudbaar. Om die stelling te staaf, poog die navorsing om Markus 11:12-25 in die lig van vertellingskritiek en die mondelinge aspek van Markus te lees. Hoofstuk 2 lê die basiese fondasie van die skripsie. Dit sluit ‘n kort geskiedenis in van die studie van Markus, die historiese interpretasie van Markus 11:12-25, ‘n vergelyking tussen Matteus en Markus, en 'n opsomming van studies gemoeid met invoegings. Die verskillende menings oor die funksie van invoegings, wat die verstaan van Markus 11:12- 25 bemoeilik sal ook bespreek word. Die hoofdoel van hoofstuk 3 is om Markus 11:12-25 te ondersoek volgens drie narratiewe elemente, naamlik die setting, die karakter en die gebeure daarin vervat. Op grond daarvan dat elke toneel in Markus 11 verbind is ten opsigte van tyd en ruimte word aangevoer word dat Markus nie die twee stories in Markus 11:12-25 as invoeging met 'n teologiese doel georden het nie. Alhoewel sommige argumenteer dat die twee stories nie by die karakter van Jesus pas nie, sal dit in teendeel aangevoer word naamlik dat beide stories die gesag en mag van Jesus, soos dit uitgebeeld word in die evangelie van Markus, versterk. Hoofstuk 4 handel oor die mondelinge dimensie van Markus. Markus se gemeenskap was in alle waarskynlikheid nie lesers nie, maar hoorders. In die verband bied Dewey 'n paar eienskappe van mondelinge vertelling aan, veral die toevoeging en kumulatiewe strukture en deelnemende karakter daarvan. Hierdie, betoog sy, help die leser om die verskillende aspekte van Markus wat kritici van die Evangelie verdeel, te interpreteer. Die laaste hoofstuk bestaan uit ‘n opsomming van elke hoofstuk en ‘n gesintetiseerde gevolgtrekking.

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