An Aramaic Approach to Q: Sources for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke

By Maurice Casey | Go to book overview

5
EXORCISM AND OVERLAPPING SOURCES:
MARK 3.20–30; MATTHEW 12.22–32;
LUKE 11.14–23; 12.10

Introduction

Exorcism was central to the ministry of Jesus.1 There are numerous incidents of exorcism recorded, which have many features of primitive tradition. For example, in the first exorcism recorded by Mark (Mark 1.23–7), the description $$νρωπo$$ $$ν πνε$$μαθι $$ is Aramaic ($$) rather than Greek. The man's reference to himself in the plural as well as the singular is evidence of a drastically disturbed state of mind. His description of Jesus as $$ so $$ is the recoil of someone who has accepted the classification of himself as a man with an unclean spirit, and it is not the kind of Christological title which might be produced by the early church. There are other signs of primitive tradition in the following context too. In the first place, there was no objection to this exorcism or the following healing (Mark 1.30–1) being performed on the sabbath. Nonetheless, people brought other sick people, including demoniacs, to Jesus only 'when it was evening, when the sun had set' (1.32), that is when the sabbath was over. The story assumes that we all know that carrying burdens on the sabbath is forbidden (Jer. 17.21–2), and that sick people are so obviously heavy as to constitute burdens. Such evidence of primitive tradition marks other exorcism narratives too.

The importance of exorcism in Jesus' ministry is further shown by its importance in the work of his disciples. When the Twelve were chosen, Mark gives as one reason that they should be with him, so that we have the deliberate choice of an inner group to symbolise the twelve tribes of Israel; and as a second reason, $$ $$ (Mark 3.14–15). In the story of them being sent out in twos, Mark duly records $$ $$

____________________
1
For recent general discussion, see especially G. H. Twelf tree, Jesus the Exorcist (WUNT II.54. Tübingen, 1993).

-146-

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An Aramaic Approach to Q: Sources for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Abbreviations x
  • 1 - The State of Play 1
  • 2 - Method 51
  • 3 - Scribes and Pharisees: Matthew 23.23–36//luke 11.39–51 64
  • 4 - John the Baptist: Matthew 11.2–19//luke 7.18–35 105
  • 5 - Exorcism and Overlapping Sources: Mark 3.20–30; Matthew 12.22–32; Luke 11.14–23; 12.10 146
  • 6 - Conclusions 185
  • Select Bibliography 191
  • Index of Passages Discussed 206
  • Index of Names and Subjects 209
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