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Kingdom and Repentance


(1a) Mark 1:14-15 = Matt 4:12,17 = Luke 4:14-15 = ?John 4:1-3
(1b) Matt 3:2
(2) 1Q: Luke 10:(1),4-11 = Matt 10:7,10b,12-14*

* not in Crossan inventory



(1a) Mark 1:14-15 = Matt 4:12,17 = Luke 4:14-15 = ?John 4:1-3

1:14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 1:15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news."

= Matt 4:12,17
4:12 Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. ... 4:17 From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

= Luke 4:14-15
4:14 Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. 4:15 He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

= ?John 4:1-3
4:1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, "Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John" 4:2 --although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized-- 4:3 he left Judea and started back to Galilee.


(1b) Matt 3:2

3:1 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 3:2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."


(2) 1Q: Luke 10:(1),4-11 = Matt 10:7,10b,12-14

[/1/ After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go.] /4/ Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. /5/ Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' /6/ And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. /7/ Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. /8/ Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; /9/ cure the sick who are there, and say to them, 'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' /10/ But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, /11/ 'Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.'

=Matt 10:7,10b,12-14
/7/ As you go, proclaim the good news, 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.' /10b/ for laborers deserve their food. /12/ As you enter the house, greet it. /13/ If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. /14/ If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.




RCL: Year B, Epiphany 3
ECUSA & RC: Year
B, Ordinary Sunday 3

advanceWORD: Epiphany 3B

John Dominic Crossan

Item: 214
Stratum: II (60-80 CE)
Attestation: Single
Historicity: -


Jesus Seminar




JS Mtg





W Avg

Mark 1:15
Matt 4:17b
Matt 3:2

While the Fellows of the Jesus Seminar consider that the idea of God's imperial rule ("the kingdom of God") was central to Jesus' message and mission, they voted this passage Black since it seems to be the creation of Mark or his community. In this judgment the Seminar was very close to view of john P. Meier (see below).


Gerd Luedemann

Luedemann [Jesus, 10] describes this passage as "a summary didactic depiction of Jesus' preaching of repentance under the influence of Christian missionary terminology." Mark is portraying Jesus as the model Christian missionary: aware that the time is fulfilled, motivated by the imminence of the eschatological events, calling for repentance, and offering a gospel to be received with faith.


John P. Meier

Meier [Marginal Jew II,430-34] looks at this item in some detail. Since it is clear that vs 14 comes from Mark, the question then becomes whether vs 15 is a summary of Jesus' preaching (created by Mark) rather than a memory of an actual saying of Jesus. While Meier is inclined to accept that the core saying "the kingdom of God has drawn near" may be authentic (since it seems to have independent attestation in Q (Luke 10:9 || Matt 10:7-8), he notes that it remains unclear whether it refers to a future eschatological event or to a present reality. Meier notes that Mark 1:15 and Luke 10:9 par use the perfect tense (eggiken), and that technically the expression can mean either "has drawn very near" or simply "is here." As Meier himself notes, this is all very well but rather besides the point, since Jesus most likely said the original form of this statement in Aramaic and we cannot know what precise expression he used.

He concludes:

... I think it is unwise to use Mark 1:15 parr. as one of the key texts to document either the future or the realized dimension of Jesus' proclamation of the kingdom.
This is not to say that the kingdom-proclamation in mark 1:15 parr. has no bearing on the quest for the historical Jesus or the eschatology he proclaimed. The saying certainly has a claim to authenticity on the grounds of both characteristic vocabulary and multiple attestation. At the very least it does show that Jesus spoke about the kingdom of God drawing near, whether he thought that it had already arrived by the time he was speaking or whether he thought that it would soon do so. (p. 434)



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