Markan controversy dialogues and the Chreia tradition : an investigation of the rhetorical dimensions of selected Markan Pericopes (2.15-17, 18-22, 23-28, 3.22-30; 7.1-23; 11.27-33) in light of their redaction, form and transmission histories

Magill, Thomas (1996) Markan controversy dialogues and the Chreia tradition : an investigation of the rhetorical dimensions of selected Markan Pericopes (2.15-17, 18-22, 23-28, 3.22-30; 7.1-23; 11.27-33) in light of their redaction, form and transmission histories. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The aim of the thesis is to investigate the rhetorical dimensions of selected Markan controversy dialogues (2.15-17, 18-22, 23-28; 3.22-30; 7.1-23; 11.27-33) in light of their redaction, form, and transmission histories. Specifically, I shall evaluate scholarly claims that these dialogues are examples of the Hellenistic literary form called the chreia. Consequently, the thesis is a formal analysis, though certain historical conclusions will emerge. I shall structure the thesis in three main sections and twelve chapters. The first section will present an overview of the history of the investigation of the controversy dialogues from Dibelius to the present day and will conclude that the specific type of rhetorical criticism which I shall evaluate and traditional historical criticism can be mutually beneficial when used together. The second section will describe rhetoric as understood in antiquity and outline the definitions, classifications, and elaborations of the chreia given in the ancient handbooks known as the Progymnasmata. The final section will bring together the insights of historical criticism and rhetorical analysis in the study of the six Markan pericopes. The most important conclusion which I propose is that the primitive form of these dialogues was modelled after the chreia form. This suggests that they emerged not from some anonymous collectivity but were consciously formed by individuals with some education and knowledge of a pagan literary form. They were conceived in a unitary fashion. I further argue that the rhetorical situation from which the dialogues emerged was the synagogue where the followers of Jesus were arguing for a less strict religious observance and were being opposed by a more rigorist, Pharisaic party. During the process of transmission the form decayed as more material was added, and there is no evidence that either the tradition or Mark himself knew the form or moulded the materials in imitation of the form. Although these pericopes do show an intensification of polemic, they do not reveal any laws of transmission, at least from the rhetorical point of view. Finally, the arguments used in the original dialogues are based on human wisdom and common values, and do not refer to the Jewish law or the traditions. Jesus is depicted as a teacher of wisdom who, like a Greek philosopher- teacher, calls pupils to himself.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Riches, Prof. John K.
Date of Award: 1996
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:1996-8303
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2017 15:26
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2017 13:25
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/8303

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