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TANATA is devoted to discussing the paradoxes and the mysteries of life, among which is the paradox of the coexistence of good and evil. “God is love,” John tells us. Evil exists, we would suggest, not because God is detached or unconcerned, but because free will exists which is required for true, unforced love to exist. Still, it is painfully hard to reconcile this paradox. We believe that all evil one day will be judged and destroyed, until then we must pray.

DANIEL 7:13-14

13 “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.

14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.

REVELATION 1:7

7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.

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Tuesday
May262009

« Chiasmus in Mark's Gospel »

Evidence For Divine Inspiration, Literary Skill and Tampering

We do not by any interpretation of the word consider ourselves scholars, biblical or otherwise. But we know good scholarship when we see it. We also have some grasp of what makes good literature what it is. That’s why we find ourselves at a loss for words (excited) having stumbled upon some of the scholarship which exists particularly on the chiasms or literary parallels present in the Gospel of Mark and the book of Revelation. A chiasm can also be described as a literary device which serves as a mirror to restate or amplify structure already revealed in a given work. A link is provided HERE to a site which lists chiasms as they exist in Genesis, Isaiah, Ecclesiastes, Amos, Mark’s Gospel and Revelation. These latter two entries are remarkable because they go toward confirming our suspicions that the same hand wrote both, namely John Mark. He was, after all, the only scholar and scribe that we know of who belonged to Jesus’ inner circle and was apparently also an apostle, as Pope Shenouda’s biography of John Mark indicates, which is found in the “sky links” above under Biography of St. Mark. Visit this site and take special note of the structure which is present in Mark and Revelation — the evidence becomes overwhelming that these books are the work of a scholar who was clearly guided by the holy spirit and knew what he was doing. What chiasmic structure which might exist in Matthew, Luke and John is not yet known to us, but we intend on pursuing this possibility, though the point must be made that anything that Matthew and Luke have done to include a chiasmic structure in their works will have been guided by the work of John Mark.

For those scholars (including Papias as quoted by Eusebius) who have downplayed the Gospel of Mark as simplistic and randomly ordered, there are new reasons, at least for us, to realize that beneath the surface of John Mark’s straightforward Gospel that a great deal more was going on. Also, as we have discovered, the total number of reverses in Mark excluding 16:9,20 come to 666, which is a jarring discovery, indeed. But we must take into consideration that despite the chiasmic structure in Mark there are errors — evidences of erroneously added and deleted verses, gaps which suggest tampering. And yet despite the efforts to disrupt the integrity of this gospel … its literary structure nevertheless shines through. Where Papias and his statements about the flawed chronology of John Mark’s writings “from memory” and the characterization of them as Peter’s dictated memoirs are concerned … those arguments no longer bear weight, which causes us to wonder what presbyter or evangelist named John did Papias and Polycarp hear, because it wasn’t anyone who knew what he was talking about with regard to John Mark and how he wrote his Gospel.

Have there been attempts through the centuries to misrepresent the strength of John Mark’s literary skills and his placement within Jesus’ inner circle as a hearer of Jesus? That now seems ever more likely — which only again goes to confirm our suspicions that John Mark has been lied about and that he and his work have been obscured because he and his work represented a genuine threat … to whatever dark forces were manifested against him.

Here are some additional links to visit if you’re interested. But you can find plenty of material on the literary skill evident in the Gospel of Mark just by doing a search with the words “chiasm, Gospel, Mark.” We are greatly encouraged that our beliefs about who John Mark really was and what he did as the first Gospel writer have been validated. And as for the 666 verses … who knows or who cares how that was accomplished. If John Mark wrote Revelation in addition to the second canonical Gospel it is highly unlikely that he would have written his Gospel to reflect this number. After all, as we have said, the Gospel abruptly ends and it is filled with enough repetition, added verses for the purpose of misleading us and gaps to suggest that the 666 total is a prank. We doubt that it is a coincidence. It has apparently been important in the mind or minds of some to discredit John Mark however that could be accomplished, perhaps because he was an African and scholar in addition to being Jesus’ closest friend, as even Leonardo’s The Last Supper might have revealed had it not been repainted.

“John Mark’s Chiastic Structure and the Identity of Jesus”

“Links for Studying the Gospels”

The KATA MARKON Page

Chiasm in Mark 12 … and more

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