Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Wicked Tenants Part 4

John Kloppenborg sure bangs that drum in odd fashion. I've read 3 articles from him and working through his ~500 pps. monograph, and I can't seem to find a clear answer on two things that keep popping up in his argument:

(1) Why do any Isaiah 5:1-7 LXX allusions in Mark 12:1-12 instead of a direct adoption of MT makes any of those allusions "secondary additions"?

Can't the tradition, as it shifted from Aramaic to a more Greek-friendly environment have adopted this change, albeit some of it is verbatim (i.e., use of Psalm 117:22-23 LXX in Mark 12:10-11)?

(2) In one article, 'Self-Help or Deus ex Machina in Mark 12.9?', he writes:

In this appeal to a deus ex machina ending, the framer of Mark 12.9 does not invoke quotidian legal and economic realities, but reaches back to archaic representations of God, unfettered by considerations of human justice or judicial prudence, and to archaic codes of human behaviour, when the strong took and held their possessions by force. We are left with two options. One is to insist on a metaphorical reading of the parable of the tenants as outlined above, despite the fact that what lends to the parable its primary metaphorical sense is a clearly Septuagintal allusion. But if one pursues this option, it must also be conceded that at a crucial point in the narrative – the owner’s use of self-help – the parable fails the test of realistic actions and beliefs; the parable must be interpreted as an allegory adapted from Isa 5.1–7. As a judgment parable, Mark 12.9 is a necessary component of the story and cannot be detached. But insofar as the metaphorical reading requires that the ‘host story’ be realistic in order that the metaphorical picture also be coherent, at a crucial point the logic of the host story collapses. The owner’s actions are simply not realistic as justifiable actions.

I am not sure why the 'host story' must be realistic in every minute detail that any extraordinary material deviating from that must be deemed secondary?

I'm just not convinced thus far, but we'll see after I finish reading his monograph.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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