TRANSITIONS PART 2, Goicoechea on Mark (Post 1/3)

Hellow True Scotsmen!

Never mind the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.  We all wear kilts here in a windstorm to drive the neighbors crazy, and play the bagpipes 24/7 because it’s the most annoying sound ever created. Here is our jam below, minus the part about handicapped people that goes too far even for us (True Scotsmen  are naturally more sensitive than Cafeteria Scotsmen):

My theme for my posts on Goicoechea’s book on Paul was my MacDonald scottish coat of arms and tartans.  For these 3 posts on Goicoechea and Mark, I’m keeping with this scottish theme and focusing on Scottish Terriers. 

Why terriers?  Consider this:

Goicoechea’s Mark:

Goicoechea in his postmodern ethics series of books looks at the New Terstament through the lens  of agape selfless love where you love the other more than yourself, such as the love of a parent or loving an enemy.  Right at the beginning of Mark’s gospel, Jesus is called the agapetos, the beloved, and this will be the lens or key for the entire gospel.  Goicoechea comments:

  • In its simplest form the Gospel has two parts in which first, Jesus goes about serving widows, orphans, aliens and others who need his help as he teaches his disciples to do this and then he becomes the Suffering Servant who offers his life to save others (56-7).

Mark’s gospel doesn’t focus as much on Jesus’ teaching as it does the mystery of Jesus as the agapetos, which John the Baptist points out is far superior to him and the disciples struggle to understand the mystery of how as beloved Jesus teaches a new love. 

The parousia or end of time from Daniel 7 13-14 is seen by Jesus as imminent in Mark, but the key point is the Son of Man must die.  Perrin points out that: a) John the Baptist “preaches” and is “delivered up.” b) Jesus “preaches” and is “delivered up.” c) Christians “preach” and are to be “delivered up.” … The beloved Son did his Father’s will even by being constantly rejected and misunderstood because he loved God and man so much.  Just as Jesus was rejected, so too will God fail him on the cross by not rescuing him. 

Goicoechea comments:

  • Jesus proclaims the gospel from God saying: The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel. This Kingdom is the one promised to David by God with his everlasting love or hesed and it is the kingdom spoken of in the apocalyptic passage from Daniel we just quoted. The good news which Jesus preaches is all about the kingdom of love.

Jesus loved even the most undesirable such as the demon possessed, and so healed and ministerred to them, who the Jews with a God of justice may have considered sinners who were deserving of the demonic unclean spirit possession.  The demons understand who Jesus is in a way his disciples don’t, and so we have the messianic secret Wrede pointed out.  Jesus is very powerful in his ability to heal the sick, cast out demons, and forgive sins. 

The key of the agapetos Jesus is he loves everyone, including the outcast and downtrodden, tax collectors, and sinners, and enemies.  This is who Jesus says he came for, not the upright.  Parents love a child even more if she is a sinner and try to save her from unhappiness.  Ultimately, Jesus came that he might suffer and die out of love for all sinners, especially his enemies, whom he loves more than himself.

A key passage is when Mark says: “In truth I tell you, all human sins will be forgiven, and all the blasphemies ever uttered (Mark 3:28).”  Noticed he is not saying all sins will be punished, but will be forgiven.  Goicoechea notes, just as Paul saw the loving face of Christ in loving, forgiving Stephen:

  • If any woman gives birth to a child and loves with agape she will see Jesus in her baby for every mother is his mother… As the beloved Jesus’ message is he is the beloved of God and all can be the beloved of God for they are his brothers and sisters (76).

As those who proselytize preach and are delivered up, the blood of these martyrs is the seed that will grow a mighty mustard tree church because it is their conviction unto death that emphasizes the level of belief and hence the truth of the message.  Goicoechea notes:

  • The Son of God has come to teach an agape that is so altruistic that it will even suffer and die out of love for others and that is the whole point of Mark’s gospel for just as John the Baptist is killed for preaching Jesus so many of the first disciples will be killed for preaching Jesus and his love (81).


Well, I’m almost done with scripture studies.  In Part 1 of the Transition posts I looked at my old professor and friend Dr. David Goicoechea and his book on Paul.  Now I am briefly looking at his book on Mark, which I also touched on in my earlier posts on Goicoechea’s book on Nietzsche and Q.  In the final installment on Transitions, I will briefly look at his book on Matthew.  If you are interested in learning more about David,  here’s some background information on him.   I’m happy to introduce David to you, as he is one of the Daves I know:

Want to read more?  Click on the image below of good friend of Internet Infidels / Secular Web, the always scrappy Dr. Richard Terrier, PhFlea.  It will take you to my Scripture Studies index. 

Image free via Scottie Heaven

Dr. Terrier’s motto is: “If you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas!”  Give a shout out to Richard on his blog.  The internet wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without him!  Do be careful though, as he can be a bit testy as, for instance, documented here and here, and as New Testament specialists Ehrman, Mcgrath, and MacDonald (Dennis) have discovered.  I don’t fault him, though.  No one here is obligated to be polite.  And, it makes sense.  His parents named him “Dick Carrier,”  “Dick” being the nickname for Richard, such as in Country J McDonald’s 1973“Tricky Dicky” song about Richard (Dick) Nixon.  Dick Carrier must have been  some serious “Boy Named Sue” shit when it came to school days for him, lol: 

How do I know?  I should know!  My parents named me John A. MacDonald.  In Canada!  That’s our first Prime Minister (Our middle names are different, but both start with A).  Not one teacher failed to tease me in front of the entire class as “Sir John A” when I was growing up.  Motherfucker is on our currency!  This Boy Named Sue certainly compensated, drawn to martial Arts because I always needed to prove myself by fighting, and always very promiscuous because it was a way of building up low self esteem … Anyway.  We’re all on the same team here Scotsmen …. Er, Scotsfolk.  (The internet is so woke these days, lol).


Havanese Hell Hound and Bark Lord of the Sith Darth Harley finds terriers, especially Scottish Terriers entertaining, but also a little unnecessarily self-important and convoluted.  Click on him to see why: