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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: July 2014

XIV - The Passion story



It is generally agreed that the story of the Passion formed a single unit long before there was any attempt to write a consecutive story of the life and teaching of Jesus in the form of a ‘Gospel’. On the other hand the Marcan story presents numerous difficulties and apparent inconsistencies which have often been noted and will concern us in this chapter. Moreover, in the Marcan account we find an alternation between ‘the disciples’ and ‘the Twelve’ up to the point at which they all forsook Jesus and fled, which suggests that there may be in Mark a conflation of at least two sources, the Twelve-source which we have already investigated in the earlier part of Mark, and another which follows the ordinary Marcan usage of referring to ‘the disciples’. From this point onwards we have not this clue to guide us; none the less it seems possible even without this to isolate the two strands of the narrative with a high degree of probability. In this chapter, except in the latter part of (D), the latter part of the trial before Pilate, I print the suggested reconstruction before the discussion of the evidence. Owing to the difficulty of disentangling the originals at this point, the discussion is put first.