Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Wicked Tenants Part 1

I'm working through Mark 12:1-9 for a paper I have to write for my exegesis of Gospels class, and I will just write some of my thoughts here as it comes. It's interesting first of all to see that there are deviations in the Markan pericope from its referent, presumably Isaiah 5:1-7. I want you to notice some of the different traditions in the synopsis below:

Mark 12:1-9 (NRSV)
1Then he began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 2When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 7But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 8So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others.

Isaiah 5:1-7 (MT, NRSV)
1Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. 2He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. 3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. 4What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? 5And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. 6I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!

Isaiah 5:1-7 (LXX, NETS trans.)
1I will now sing for the beloved a song of the loved one concerning my vineyard: The beloved had a vineyard on a hill, on a fertile place. 2And I put a hedge around it and fenced it in and planted a Sorech vine, and I built a tower in the midst of it and dug out a wine vat in it, and I wanted for it to produce a cluster of grapes, but it produced thorns. 3And now, man of Ioudas and those who dwell in Ierousalem, judge between me and my vineyard. 4What more might I do for my vineyard, and I have not done for it? Because I waited for it to produce a cluster of grapes, but it produced thorns. 5But now I will declare to you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be plundered, and I will tear down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. 6And I will abandon my vineyard, and it shall not be pruned or dug, and a thorn shall come up into it as into a wasteland, and I will command the clouds, that they send no rain to it. 7For the vineyard of the Lord Sabaoth is the house of Israel, and the man of Ioudas is a beloved young plant; I waited for him to produce justice, but he produced lawlessness-- nor did he produce righteousness, but a cry!

Gospel of Thomas Logion 65 (Patterson-Robinson BWG trans.)
He said: "A [usurer] owned a vineyard. He gave it to some farmers so that they would work it (and) he might receive its fruit from them. He sent his servant so that the farmers might give him the fruit of the vineyard. They seized his servant, beat him, (and) almost killed him. The servant went (back and) told his master. His master said: 'Perhaps did not recognize .' He sent another servant, (and) the farmers beat that other one as well. Then the master sent his son (and) said: 'Perhaps they will show respect for my son.' (But) those farmers, since they knew that he was the heir of the vineyard, seized him (and) killed him. Whoever has ears should hear."


Some oddities:
(1) The perspective change from MT to LXX? (MT goes from 1st person to 3rd and back...)
(2) Wild grapes in MT to thorns in LXX?
(3) Does Mk. 12:1-9 correspond better with MT or LXX?
(4) Where does Gospel of Thomas fit in with all this?

This is it for now, but I will try to interact with the original languages in the future posts!

2 comments:

aaronchoi said...

You're going to make me lose my confidence in the Scriptures. Haha, jk. I'm noticing a lot of weird LXX and MT variants in my studies through Hebrews, too. Good stuff. You're officially a nerd.

Mike S. said...

Aaron: I'll take that as a compliment!