Monthly Archives: January 2014

Mark 11

In Mark 11:27-33 (cf. Matt 21:23-27; Luke 20:1-8), Jesus is confronted in the temple by the scribes, the chief priests, and the elders.

They challenge Jesus to declare the source of his authority Jesus ripostes by turning the question to John the Baptist: “Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?” The question stumps the authorities: they cannot say it was from heaven or that it was mere human authority. It is certain that no one in the crowd has the status of the scribes, chief priests, and elders, and yet these elites are rendered powerless by public opinion (Mark 11:32).

This is a classic example of challenge and riposte. In the end those watching have the final say “the artisan Jesus shames his elite challengers” because those watching acknowledge it .[1]

[1] Zeba Cook; “Honor , Shame, and Social Status Revisited;” in Journal of Biblical Literature Vol. 128. No. 3 (Fall 2009), p601.

Mark 7: 24-30 and Matthew 15

A really interesting example of the dynamics of shame and honour, challenge and riposte, is highlighted by Zeba Cook. In the middle of a discussion about the place of women in public life she relates the story of Jesus and the Syrophoenician/Canaanite woman (Mark 7:24-30 and Matt 15:22-28, respectively).

Mark and Matthew agree on the general outline: “Jesus is in Gentile territory when a woman approaches him and begs that he heal her daughter, who has a demon. In Matthew, Jesus initially ignores the woman. … The woman re-issues the challenge, and Jesus ripostes again. In Matthew, Jesus’ first riposte is dismissive, while the second escalates to insult. In Mark, both components are contained in the one riposte: “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs?” But the challenge and riposte exchange does not end there. The woman’s final challenge ends the exchange: “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table” (Matt 15:26). In a clever retort, the woman accepts the insult “dog” and turns it back on Jesus, thereby outwitting him. Having been outwitted, Jesus is obligated to give the woman what she wants; she has bested him.” [1]

[1] Zeba Cook; “Honor, Shame, and Social Status Revisited;” p608-609. She notes that Malina and Rohrbaugh comment on these passages, but do not address the challenge and riposte in the story (Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels).

Herefordshire Railways 2

The above image comes from the site: it carries the following heading and attribution: 1420 at Titley Junction after a trip up the Presteigne branch in August 1964.  B.J.Ashworth.

Here are some further sites of interest if you want to find out more about railways in Herefordshire: other grid references may provide other photos.