The Markan Narrative’s Use Of The Old Greek Text Of Jeremiah To Explain Israel’s Obduracy -- By: Larry Perkins

Journal: Tyndale Bulletin
Volume: TYNBUL 60:2 (NA 2009)
Article: The Markan Narrative’s Use Of The Old Greek Text Of Jeremiah To Explain Israel’s Obduracy
Author: Larry Perkins


The Markan Narrative’s Use Of The Old Greek Text Of Jeremiah To Explain Israel’s Obduracy

Larry Perkins

Summary

A close reading of the Septuagint (LXX) translation of Jeremiah in conjunction with a careful examination of Markan contexts where Jeremiah materials occur reveals that Jeremiah’s prophetic message influences the Markan portrayal of Jesus’ words and deeds, especially to explain Israel’s obduracy. By examining specific contexts in Mark’s narrative (chs. 8, 11, 13, 14) where potential intertextual linkages with the Greek version of Jeremiah’s prophecy occur I demonstrate the potential contribution of the Greek version of Jeremiah’s material to our understanding of Mark’s purpose. His use of Jeremiah material seems to focus almost exclusively on aspects of opposition that Jesus experienced. The general theme of Israel’s obduracy, illustrated by the temple cleansing incident, the parable of the tenant farmers, and the prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple seems to provide the thread that the Markan author finds useful to link with Jeremiah’s message.

Introduction

Considerable attention has been given to the function of Isaiah1 materials in the Markan narrative. Relatively little consideration, in contrast, has been paid to the potential influence of the LXX text of Jeremiah on this gospel’s story. A glance at the Index of Quotations

and Allusions in the Nestle-Aland 272 lists two quotations and five allusions in Mark’s Gospel. Given this limited, explicit textual relationship, it is not surprising that little attention has been paid to the use and possible influence of Jeremiah’s material in Mark’s narrative. A close reading of the LXX translation of Jeremiah in conjunction with careful examination of Markan contexts where Jeremiah materials occur reveals a different perspective. Jeremiah’s prophetic message influences the Markan portrayal of Jesus’ words and deeds, especially to explain Israel’s obduracy.

It is time for a reappraisal.3 We have an edited text of the LXX of Jeremiah, done by Joseph Ziegler (1976).4 A New English Translation of the Septuagint was published in 2007 giving updated, general access to these texts.5 The understanding of Mark’s Gospel as narrative and the implications of this for its interpretation have received remarkable and fruitful attention during the past...

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