To distinguish between 3 interpretations of the Bible To interpret the Calming of the Storm in 3 ways To evaluate what Mistakes in Mark suggest about Markan authorship.
Nobody really ever “writes history”. Everything gets written from some point of view, every writer is writing with their own particular values.
So how can we get behind the viewpoints of the writers of the gospel, and work out what the “truth” of the gospel stories really is?
Which interpretation of the calming of the storm do you think is the most “true”?
Read the 3 interpretations of the Calming of the Storm (A, B or C). Which opinions is….
Fundamentalist – because the bible is 100% reliable and correct in every detail, because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit who is never wrong. And that all of the bible should be taken as literally true just exactly as it was written.
Conservative – because the Bible is mostlycorrect in important ways (because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit) but there may be some inaccuracies, because human beings with their ordinary human knowledge wrote it. It also cannot be taken literally but needs some interpretation because it was written from a particular, ancient, point of view.
Liberal – because the Bible cannot be relied on to be historically or factually correct. The early Church exaggerated or changed the stories to persuade people to follow Christianity. Still, the stories are meaningful and important to know because they teach truths about God. (Liberal)
A. The Calming of the storm really happened exactly as the gospel says. It shows Jesus really has God’s power over nature and over the real forces of evil in the world.
B. The Calming of the storm was a story exaggerated by the Church to give persecuted Christians hope in their “storm-tossed” life
C. The Calming of the storm did happen, although some details may have been changed or added by the gospel writers. It shows Jesus’ power over nature. It can also be interpreted symbolically as the “storm tossed” persecuted Church battlingagainst the evil in the world.
the opinion that the bible is 100% reliable and correct in every detail, because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit who is never wrong. And that all of the bible should be taken as literally true just exactly as it was written. (Fundamentalist)
the opinion that the Bible is mostlycorrect in important ways (because it was inspired by the Holy Spirit) but there may be some inaccuracies, because human beings with their ordinary human knowledge wrote it. It also cannot be taken literally but needs some interpretation because of when it was written and for whom. (Conservative)
The opinion that the Bible cannot be relied on to be historically or factually correct, because the early Church exaggerated or changed them to persuade people to follow Christianity. Still, the stories are meaningful and important to know because they teach truth. (Liberal)
Using the notes on this slide or p.24 Mark Gospel for Today
1. Draw a line in your book and mark on the 3 types of interpretation. Make notes about the 3 interpretations of scripture:
2. Choosing from the “hints” boxes in purple, give an interpretation of the miracle of the Calming of the storm
For a fundamentalist, the story of the Calming of the Storm is saying that…
The storm probably did happen but some details may have been changed during oral transmission, or by the gospel writers to make the story better for their audience
The story shows that Jesus has the power of God over nature, and proves he is like God.
The storm really happened exactly as the gospel says
It doesn’t matter if it is true – the point is the hope and faith that this story can give in times of difficulty
We can’t ever know if the storm happened or not but that doesn’t matter to faith.
The story gives hope to persecuted Christians because it proves Jesus has power over evil.
The story proves Jesus has control over evil and can be trusted to control the situation
Which kind of interpretation are the following statements? Write down the numbers 1-10 and their interpretation. (F, C, L)
Despite the occasional accuracy, Mark gets it right overall
Some parts of the bible are more relevant to 21st century Christians than others
Only people who believe 100% in everything the Bible says are truly Christians
Jesus was not really the Son of God. He was a wise teacher man, but that’s all.
Jesus did some of the miracles but not all of them
There are no contradictions between the different gospels. If there are differences, it’s because the story must have happened twice.
Jesus is an obscure historical figure whose words and actions have been so changed, that we can really know nothing about him.
Jesus did not rise from the dead. The only sense in which he is still “alive” is in the Church that carries on his teaching
God created the universe, but science tells us how he did it, not the Old Testament
God created the world in 7 days as it says in Genesis
1. Read “Mistakes in Mark”.
How would a fundamentalist respond to these examples of “mistakes”?
How could a conservative respond to there being these mistakes?
2. Do the mistakes in Mark give evidence for or against the theory that Mark is the same Jewish Mark from Jerusalem in whose mother’s house the last supper was held)