There is a decent amount of midrash in the Gospels
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There exists a decent amount of midrash in the New Testament Gospels.
As Pro I will try and demonstrate that there is midrash in the New Testament Gospels.
Burden of Proof will be on me.
Midrash- new narrative commenting on old (scriptural) narrative by rewriting it.
Round 1 is for acceptance only.
Use good conduct.
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Something important to note here is that both Mathew and Luke draw from Mark.
What this means is that if a decent amount of Mark is Midrash, then that means that a decent amount of the synoptic Gospels is Midrash.
Midrash in Mark
1 Kings 19:5-7
In this parallel, both Jesus and Elijah are ministered by angels. They are both out in the wilderness for 40 days.
Mark 1:14-20 (as well as Mark 2:12-17):
1 Kings 19:19-21
In this parallel Jesus calls for people to drop what they are doing and follow him, similarly to Elijah and Elisha.
Jesus calls forth 2 pairs of brothers to follow him. At an analogous point In the Exodus story, Moses called his brother to follow him.
Moreso HINTS at Nahum 1:15a. Jesus’ first teaching and exorcism is at a town called Capernaum (Village of Nahum), which is (as Price and Miller point out) “the only passage outside of Isaiah to use the term euaggelizomenou in a strictly religious sense”
“Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that brings glad tidings and publishes peace!”
Mark interpreted this to be Jesus and thus had Jesus start at Nahum.
1 Kings 17:18
This parallel is pretty obvious. The local demoniac’s words come directly from the Zarephath widow.
In Exodus, Moses’ credential miracle is the ability to turn his hand leprous white. Jesus, being god, would be unable to manifest leprosy so Mark has Jesus heal the leper and then tells him to listen to what Moses commanded.
2 Kings 5
In this parallel Elisha shows that he is a prophet of God by having Naaman come to him to be healed of leprosy when the king is unable. Mark has Jesus heal a leper who then proclaims what Jesus did, making Jesus famous and people flocked to him.
2 Kings 1:2-17a
Mark writes that the friend of a paralyzed man tears a thatch off a roof to lower the man to Jesus amid a crowd. In 2 Kings King Ahaziah falls from his roof and gains his affliction. In Mark the man is healed from his sins due to his faith. In 2 Kings the king is not healed due to his lack of faith.
1 Kings 13:1-7
In 1 Kings the king, when trying to arrest the prophet for blasphemy, stretches out his hand and his hand withered. The prophet then heals the king at the king’s request. In Mark it is a nobody but the authorities are still there. The man’s hand is already withered when Jesus says to stretch out the hand. When he does it is healed.
Moses father-in-law hears of his success and brings Moses’ wife and sons to him. Similarly, the mother and brothers of Jesus hear reports and journey to meet him (Mark 3:21).
Moses is always surrounded by suppliants. This is true of Jesus as well.
Jonah 1:4-6 AND Psalm 107:23-29
In Jonah, Jonah is found to be the one guilty for the storm and is thrown into the sea. When this happened the storm ceased.
In Psalm people cried to God and the storm went still.
In Mark they are on a ship and a storm seems to be getting close to swamping the boat. The disciples went to Jesus who then calmed the storm with his voice.
2 Kings 4:39-44
This story is a retelling of that of Elisha and the Shunammite woman. The woman (a mother) is replaced with a father. The man/woman approaches Jesus/Elisha to go and raise their child despite it being reported the child is dead. Jesus/Elisha touch the child and they awaken. The reaction is also almost identical.
In 2 Kings it is “ecstatic with all this ecstasy”
In Mark it is “ecstatic with great ecstasy”
The woman with the hemorrhage in mark is also ripped from 2 Kings. Jesus healed her of a reproductive problem just like Elisha who made it possible for the Shunammite to conceive.
2 Kings 5:22
In 2 Kings, Gehazi’s fatal error where he has exacted from Naaman “a talent of silver and two cloaks”.
Mark forbids the missioners to “take along money nor two cloaks”.
2 Kings 4:29
The provision of a staff paralleled Gehazi’s mission for Elisha “take my staff in your hand and go”.
Mark 6:30-44 (Mark 8:1-13 works as well):
2 Kings 4:42-44
In 2 Kings, Elisha multiplies 20 barley loaves for a hundred men. Mark writes that Jesus multiplied 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5000.
1 Kings 17:8-16
In Mark, Jesus meets a foreign woman who requests help for her child.
In 1 Kings Elijah is dealing with the widow of Sidonian Zarephath, encounters the foreigner and does a miracle for her and her son.
As Price puts it “In both cases, the miracle is preceded by a tense interchange between the prophet and the woman in which the prophet raises the bar to gauge the woman’s faith”
Mark 7:31-37 (and Mark 8:22-26, possibly even 10:46-52):
Isaiah 29:18 “In that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see”
Isaiah 35:5-6 “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy”
And Mark has Jesus heal both a deaf and mute man in Mark 7.
The parallel with Mark 8 also needs reference to Genesis 19:11-13 where Lot is warned to leave the city like the once blind man is told to avoid the village.
Exodus 24 and 34:29
Jesus ascends a mountain where his transfiguration is, similar to how Moses ascends a mountain to get the tablets of the Torah.
Mark saying “and 6 days later” hints at this Midrash as the Exodus account had them waiting 6 days before God spoke on the 7th.
Jesus glowing is also Midrash from Moses from Exodus 34:29, but also draws from Malachi 3:2. This is the prophesied return of Elijah and Jesus’ cloths glow white.
Jesus appears similarly to Moses with Moses present, drawing from Deuteronomy 18:15.
The fright John had when encountering a man casting out demons is based on Eldad and Medad.
In Mark John wanted the man to stop casting out demons, but Jesus let him as he was doing it in his name.
In Numbers, Joshua wanted Eldad and Medad to stop as they were prophesizing, but Moses let them as they were gifted by the Spirit.
Mark 11:1-6(and mark 14:12-16):
1 Samuel 9
Samuel sends his son Saul and a servant (similar to Jesus sending 2 disciples) on these missions. Saul and his servant were to find runaway donkeys (while the disciples were to find a particular donkey’s colt). When Saul and the servant get to the city they are met by a woman coming out to draw water (the disciples are told to look for a man carrying water). Saul and the servant are told they will find Samuel as soon as they enter the city (Jesus tells the disciples they will find the colt tied as soon as they enter the city). Saul asks where the house of the seer is (Jesus asks where the guest house is). Saul is told the missing donkeys have been located (Jesus says that the colt will be returned). Samuel oversees the preparation of a fear (the disciples prepare the Passover).
This is a not so explicit parallel where Jesus enters the holy city on donkey-back. In Zechariah the king comes on a donkey.
The parable in Mark makes heavy use of the song of the vineyard from Isaiah.
Robert Price says (and I borrow) “The whole apocalyptic discourse of Mark is a cento of scripture paraphrases and quotations, and it will be sufficient simply to match each major verse to its source”
David, weeping, flees from his usurping do, head up the Mount of Olives and sends 3 of his allies back to Jerusalem.
Jesus heads up the mountain to the Garden of Gethsemane where he is overcome with sorrow. He leaves behind 3 disciples as he goes into the recesses of the garden.
Abishai offers to behead the mocker in 2 Samuel, similarly the unnamed disciple of Jesus attempts to behead Malchus in the arresting party.
Shimei is assigned to utter curses on David. Mark writes a Midrash where Jesus predicts Peter’s denials. Mark also writes that Peter called down curses on himself (or Jesus) in the high priest’s courtyard.
In 2 Samuel 20:7-10, Joab greets Amasa as a brother, kisses him and stabs him in the back, similarly to how Jesus was betrayed with a kiss.
In both there is “the implicit piercing of hands and feet , the dividing of his garments and casting lots for them, the “wagging heads” of the mockers, and of course the cry of dereliction, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?””
In Amos it says the sun will go down at noon. In Mark there is darkness at noon.
In Joshua, 5 kings flee and take refuge in a cave at Makkedah. When discovered, Joshua orders his men to block the cave entrance with a stone and to guard it. Later, Joshua orders for the stone to be moved and the men to be brought to him. Afterwards he put them to death and hung them on trees until evening. Joshua then orders for the bodies to be thrown back into the cave and for the stone to cover the entrance again.
All one has to do is reverse the order of this and make it about Jesus and you have the empty tomb narrative.
There are many examples of Midrash in mark alone, not all of them have been presented. As Mark is used by Matthew and Luke it makes it apparent that the synoptics would all have Midrash present.
Robert M Price,PhD in Theology and PhD in New Testament History says,
“Earlier scholars, as many today, saw gospel echoes of the ancient scriptures in secondary coloring here or redactional juxtaposition of traditional Jesus stories there. But the more recent scrutiny of John Dominic Crossan, Randel Helms, Dale and Patricia Miller, and Thomas L. Brodie has made it inescapably clear that virtually the entirety of the gospel narratives and much of the Acts are wholly the product of haggadic midrash upon previous scripture.”
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