working together for the future of faith
(1) Mark 5:1-20 = Matt 8:28-34 = Luke 8:26-39
(1) Mark 5:1-20 = Matt 8:28-34 = Luke 8:26-39
/5:1/ They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. /5:2/ And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. /5:3/ He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; /5:4/ for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. /5:5/ Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. /5:6/ When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; /5:7/ and he shouted at the top of his voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me." /5:8/ For he had said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" /5:9/ Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion; for we are many." /5:10/ He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. /5:11/ Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; /5:12/ and the unclean spirits begged him, "Send us into the swine; let us enter them." /5:13/ So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea. /5:14/ The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. /5:15/ They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. /5:16/ Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. /5:17/ Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood. /5:18/ As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. /5:19/ But Jesus refused, and said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you." /5:20/ And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
= Matt 8:28-34
/8:28/ When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. /8:29/ Suddenly they shouted, "What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" /8:30/ Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. /8:31/ The demons begged him, "If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine." /8:32/ And he said to them, "Go!" So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. /8:33/ The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. /8:34/ Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.
= Luke 8:26-39
/8:26/ Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. /8:27/ As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. /8:28/ When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me"-- /8:29/ for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) /8:30/ Jesus then asked him, "What is your name?" He said, "Legion"; for many demons had entered him. /8:31/ They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss. /8:32/ Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. /8:33/ Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. /8:34/ When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. /8:35/ Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. /8:36/ Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. /8:37/ Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. /8:38/ The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, /8:39/ "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.
John Dominic Crossan
Stratum: II (60-80 CE)
Common Sayings Tradition: No
Dennis R. MacDonald
In The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark. (Yale UP, 2000), MacDonald devotes a chapter to this story.
MacDonald begins by noting the typical elements of a Hellenistic exorcism tale:
Typically told, an exorcism brings the exorcist and the demoniac (or an agent for the demoniac) into contact and then lets the exorcist and the reader learn of the victim's condition, such as deafness, convulsions, antisocial behavior, or preternatural cognitive powers, as in Mark 1:24: "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." The exorcist then rebukes the demon or demons and demands departure (the apopompe). Often the exorcist sends the spirit or spirits into the wilderness, the earth, the sea, or a living host (the epipompe). The demon may dramatize its exit by producing violent effects, and the crowd, amazed, acknowledges the exorcist's powers. (p. 63)
MacDonald then notes the unusual features of this account which have made many scholars question the character of this episode:
In looking for possible influences to explain this strange story, MacDonald suggests two well-known Homeric tales: Circe the witch (who turned Odysseus' men into swine and would later see them drown in the sea) and the famous story of Cyclops. After several pages of detailed analysis, MacDonald offers this summary of "the remarkable density and order of parallels between the stories of the Cyclops and the Gerasene. (Items in square brackets occur out of order.)"
Odyssey 9.101-565 [text]
and his crew, in a convoy,
On the mountains "innumerable goats" grazed.
Odysseus and crew disembarked.
a savage, lawless giant
The giant asked Odysseus came to harm him.
The giant asked Odysseus his name.
Odysseus answered, "Nobody."
Odysseus subdued the giant with violence and trickery. [Circe had turned Odysseus' soldiers into swine.]
The shepherd called out to his neighbors.
came to the site
(Polyphemus usually was depicted nude.)
Odysseus and crew reembarked.
told the giant to proclaim
asked Odysseus, who was now aboard
Odysseus refused the request.
Odysseus and crew sailed away.
Odysseus awoke during a storm at sea in the episode immediately following the story of the Cyclops.
his disciples, with "other boats,"
[On the mountains "about 2,000" swine grazed.]
Jesus and his disciples disembarked.
a savage, lawless demoniac
He asked Jesus not to torment him.
Jesus asked the demoniac his name.
The demoniac answered, "Legion."
the demons with divine power
The swineherds called on their neighbors.
came to the site
The demoniac, once naked, now was clothed.
Jesus and his disciples reembarked.
the demoniac to proclaim
asked Jesus, now aboard the ship,
Jesus refused the request.
Jesus and disciples sailed away.
[Jesus awoke during a storm and calmed the wind and the sea just before exorcising the demoniac.]