Here Bauer has recourse to the aid of Wilke, who distinguishes our Mark from an Ur-Markus
|November 20, 2011||Posted by webmaster under All text of Schweitzer Quest Jesus, chapter eleven||
Here, therefore, Bauer’s method broke down. He did not, however, allow this to shake his confidence in his reading of the facts, and he continued to maintain it in the face of a new difficulty which he himself brought clearly to light. Mark, according to him, is an artistic unity, the offspring of a single mind. How then is it to be explained that in addition to other less important doublets it contains two accounts of the feeding of the multitude? Here Bauer has recourse to the aid of Wilke, who distinguishes our Mark from an Ur-Markus, and ascribes these doublets to later interpolation. Later on he became more and more doubtful about the artistic unity of Mark, despite the fact that this was the fundamental assumption of his theory, and in the second edition of his “Criticism of the Gospels,” of 1851, he carried through the distinction between the canonical Mark and the Ur-Markus.
But even supposing the assumption of a redaction were justified, how could the redactor have conceived the idea of adding to the first account of the feeding of the multitude a second which is identical with it almost to the very wording? In any case, on what principle can Mark be distinguished from Ur-Markus? There are no fundamental differences to afford a ready criterion. The distinction is purely one of subjective feeling, that is to say, it is arbitrary. As soon as Bauer admits that the artistic unity of Mark, on which he lays so much stress, has been tampered with, he cannot maintain his position except by shutting his eyes to the fact that it can only be a question of the weaving in of fragments of tradition, not of the inventions of an imitator. But if he once admits the presence of traditional materials, his whole theory of the earliest Evangelist’s having created the Gospel falls to the ground.
For the moment he succeeds in laying the spectre again, and continues to think of Mark as a work of art, in which the interpolation alters nothing.
Bauer discusses with great thoroughness those sayings of Jesus in which He forbids those whom He had healed to noise abroad their cure. In the form in which they appear these cannot, he argues, be historical, for Jesus imposes this prohibition in some cases where it is quite meaningless, since the healing had taken place in the presence of a multitude. It must therefore be derived from the Evangelist. Only when it is recognised as a free creation can its meaning be discerned. It finds its explanation in the inconsistent views regarding miracle which were held side by side in the early Church. No doubt was felt that Jesus had performed miracles, and by these miracles had given evidence of His Divine mission. On the other hand, by the introduction of the Christian principle, the Jewish demand for a sign had been so far limited, and the other, the spiritual line of evidence, had become so important, or at least so indispensable, that it was no longer possible to build on the miracles only, or to regard Jesus merely as a wonder-worker, so in some way or other the importance ascribed to miracle must be reduced. In the graphic symbolism of the Gospel history this antithesis takes the form that Jesus did miracles—there was no getting away from that—but on the other hand Himself declared that He did not wish to lay any stress upon such acts. As there are times when miracles must hide their light under a bushel, Jesus, on occasion, forbids that they should be made known. The other Synoptists no longer understood this theory of the first Evangelist, and introduced the prohibition in passages where it was absurd.
The way in which Jesus makes known His Messiahship is based on another theory of the original Evangelist. The order of Mark can give us no information regarding the chronology of the life of Jesus, since this Gospel is anything rather than a chronicle. We cannot even assert that there is a deliberate logic in the way in which the sections are connected. But there is one fundamental principle of arrangement which comes quite clearly to light, viz. that it was only at Caesarea Philippi, in the closing period of His life, that Jesus made Himself known as the Messiah, and that, therefore, He was not previously held to be so either by His disciples or by the people. This is clearly shown in the answers of the disciples when Jesus asked them whom men took Him to be. The implied course of events, however, is determined by art, not history—as history it would be inconceivable.
 We retain the German phrase, which has naturalised itself in Synoptic criticism as the designation of an assumed primary gospel lying behind the canonical Mark.
Albert Schweitzer's The Quest of the Historical Jesus
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