Friday, March 30, 2018

Ear on the ground

51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked (Mk 14:51-52).

This is a curious anecdote. Readers puzzle over the identity of the anonymous figure. One conjecture is that he might be living in a house on the garden grounds, and went outside to see what the commotion was about (Lagrange)

A more interesting conjecture is that Jesus celebrated the Lord's Supper at the home of John Mark. That's a good candidate for the site of the Lord's Supper (Cf. Lk 22:11-12; 24:33,36; Jn 20:19,26; Acts 1:13; 12:12).

Maybe Judas led the posse to Mark's house in case Jesus was still there. That awakened Mark, who hastily dressed and tailed them (Lane, Gundry). 

(BTW, this may indicate that Mark's family was wealthy. Most homes in Jerusalem didn't have an upper room. And if his family was wealthy, that says something about his education and literacy, pace Bart Ehrman.)

But modern readers are in the dark. And that's the point. This is one of those incidental details which indicates how close Mark's Gospel is to the events. His cryptic aside takes for granted that readers in his immediate social circle will recognize the referent. But once you get a two or more generations out, the allusion is lost on later readers. It's very topical information. 

No comments:

Post a Comment