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Chapter Four: The Influence of A Pre-Markan Passion Tradition on Marks Treatment of Jewish Leadership Groups

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Chapter Summary

The Passion narrative in Mark is widely understood as an expansion of a written source. If we accept the theory of a pre-Markan Passion narrative, clearly the responsibility for Jesus' capture and execution was assigned by that source to three Jewish authority groups: chief priests + scribes + elders. Mark himself was probably partial to the identification of Jesus' enemies in the early Passion tradition as the priestly corps since, during the Jewish revolt in the late 60's, the Temple had become popularly regarded as the geographic and spiritual core of resistance to Roman armies. Roman readers could easily associate the hated Temple establishment of Mark's own time with that Temple group which, according to the early Passion tradition, had orchestrated Jesus arrest and execution. Naturally, provision had to be made in the Gospel's structure for a transitional period, bridging the ministry in Galilee with the Passion Week in Jerusalem.

Keywords: chief priests; Gospel; Jerusalem; Jesus; Jewish revolt; re-Markan Passion; Roman armies; scribes

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