Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Speaking out: an analysis of the markan characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman Roberts, Margaret Joyce 1999

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_1999-0164.pdf [ 14.07MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0099341.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0099341-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0099341-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0099341-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0099341-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0099341-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0099341-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0099341-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0099341.ris

Full Text

J SPEAKING OUT: AN ANALYSIS OF THE MARKAN CHARACTERIZATION OF THE GREEK SYROPHOENICIAN WOMAN by MARGARET JOYCE ROBERTS B.A., The University of Saskatchewan, 1987 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 1999 © Margaret Joyce Roberts, 1999 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of CLASSICAL, Q t f r g K H , AtNl> ^uClOUS £r\)T>\ES The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Consensus is rarely reached about the meaning of Mk 7:24-30 except to say that it addresses Jew-Gentile relations, that Jesus' metaphor is crucial to understanding the scene, that Jesus' initial response to the woman seems harsh, and the woman's actions and words are counter-cultural within a first century context. After a review of the exegetical literature, there are nuances in Mk 7:24-30 that are not adequately explained; many concern the protagonist in the scene, namely, the Greek Syrophoenician woman. Narrative criticism is useful in analyzing the characterization of the woman, bringing to light some possible explanations about these unexplained subtleties within the text. In this narrative critical exegesis of Mk 7:24-30, the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman reveals her transitional role in Jesus' mission to the Gentiles. For a female minor character, she is well-developed, with the traits of a bold and active suppliant with faith, who is understanding, intelligent and witty. The Greek Syrophoencian character's dialogue with Jesus is unique to Mark on three counts: it is the only example of the Markan narrator providing a woman's words to Jesus in first-person dialogue form; it is the only example of anyone besting Jesus in a debate; and it is the only example of anyone changing Jesus' mind. Jesus' metaphor of the 'children' (Jews) receiving their 'bread' (life-giving sustenance) before the 'dogs' (Gentiles) resonates on various levels when the reader understands its first century context (including the socio-political relationship between the Tyrians and the Galileans, and the ancient Near Eastern use of dogs in healing rituals). The woman's response to Jesus shifts his view of the Gentiles, so that he renews and expands his activities among them. The Greek Syrophoenician woman speaks out, is heard and understood by Jesus, and that makes all the difference not only in the lives of her and her daughter, but also within the Gentile world of the Gospel of Mark. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS vi INTRODUCTION 1 Chapter 1. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON MK 7:24-30 9 Introduction 9 Overview of Interpretations of Mk 7:24-30 10 Interpretations of Mk 7:24-30 from Textual, Source, Redaction, and Form Criticisms 10 Interpretations of Mk 7:24-30 from Feminist, Historical, and Social Criticisms 14 Interpretations of Mk 7:24-30 from Literary, Structural, Narrative, and Reader-Response Criticisms 17 Conclusion 47 Summary of the Field 47 Hypothesis and Choice of Method 50 2. METHOD 67 Overview of Narrative Criticism 68 Basic Areas of Narrative Criticism 68 Overview of Character and Characterization 69 Method 79 Introduction 80 The Abstraction of the Character 84 The Resolution of the Character Back into the Narrative 100 Summary 104 iii 3. AN ANALYSIS OF THE MARKAN CHARACTERIZATION OF THE GREEK SYROPHOENICIAN WOMAN 112 The Abstraction of the Character of the Greek Syrophoenician Woman 112 The Character Indicators in Mk 7:24-30 112 The Character Traits of the Greek Syrophoenician Woman 118 The Categorization of the Character of the Greek Syrophoenician Woman 157 The Resolution of the Character of the Greek Syrophoenician Woman Back into) the Markan Narrative 158 Female 159 Gentile 169 Summary 182 4. CONCLUSION 205 Conclusions about the Characterization of the Greek Syrophoencian Woman 205 The Abstracted Character of the Greek Syrophoencian Woman 205 Narrative Devices in Mk 7:24-30 207 Conclusions about Her Influence and Function Within the Larger Markan Narrative 212 Conclusions about Mk 7:24-30 214 Areas for Future Research 217 Future Research for Mk 7:24-30 217 Recommendations for Future Narrative Critical Analyses 219 The Last Word? 220 WORKS CITED 222 iv Appendix A. Mk 7:24-30: The Greek Text and An English Translation 229 B. Introduction to Narrative Criticism 230 C. Characterization and Speech Representation Theory 242 v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am grateful to all those who supported me in this venture, notably the religious studies faculty of the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies, as well as The Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of British Columbia. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the compassionate guidance and advice of my thesis advisor, Dietmar Neufeld, who taught me that it is possible to complete a thesis and preserve the health of one's soul. As I complete my program, I am mindful of the dynamic influence of Belle Mulholland, my first religious studies instructor. Prior to her death, she inspired many students; I shall always be grateful that she encouraged me to pursue graduate studies in this area. My thanks to fellow HAG group members—Beverley Atkinson and Christina Ray—for their abiding support and advice, and for their instincts. They helped to make the process of writing this thesis a lesson in self-fulfilment. I offer this work in remembrance of my mother and father, Dorothy and Stanley Roberts, who taught me to love and value learning, and in remembrance of my granny, Dolly Peterson, who showed me the influence of religion in the world. INTRODUCTION A well-told story captures the imagination of its reader, drawing him or her into the world of its narrative. When I first read Mk 7:24-30,1 was drawn into the story about the Greek Syrophoenician woman. Attracted by its cryptic dialogue, I became interested in the interaction between Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman. Questions rushed into my mind. Why does Jesus initially refuse to help the woman? Who exactly are the children and the dogs that Jesus refers to, and how are they related to this woman and her possessed daughter? If Jesus is implying that the woman and her daughter are the dogs, why does he address the woman in such an insulting way? And why does Jesus end up helping her in the end? The task, as I see it, is to provide an exegesis of Mk 7:24-30 that supplies an interpretation of the passage and takes into account its place within the Markan narrative as a whole, while addressing the socio-historical context of its key-words.1 In this paper, I undertake such an exegesis, developing my interpretation through examining the Greek text (Aland et al. 1983), consulting existing scholarly interpretations of that text, and then analyzing specific aspects of the text through the use of narrative criticism. Exegetical literature on Mk 7:24-30 emphasizes that this story is about Jew-Gentile relations and the Gentile mission within the Markan narrative. The literature that analyzes this story from the angle of gender indicates how unusual the Greek Syrophoenician woman's actions are within a first-century context. While researching various interpretations of this text, I encountered a wealth of insight from many scholars. I was struck by the variety of theoretical approaches that have been applied to the text, each revealing fresh observations. These observations, however, have not been able to able to answer all of the questions regarding this text, so parts of it still remain a mystery. What is the significance of the woman being described as 'Greek' and 'Syrophoenician by race'? Would not one of these descriptors have sufficiently 1 exposed her as a Gentile? And why are various Greek words used to describe the children (ZSKVCL, TraiSitiyl I soon discovered that this is the only instance in Mark when the narrator puts a woman's speech to Jesus in the form of direct rather than indirect speech. How does this direct speech affect Jesus? How does it affect the reader? And what impact do Jew-Gentile relations and male-female relations have on the interaction between Jesus (a Jewish male) and the Greek Syrophoenician woman (a Gentile female)? These topics were briefly mentioned by the scholars I read, but they were not sufficiently explored. Since many of these elements are linked to the character of the Greek Syrophoenician woman, an analysis of her characterization is a useful way to approach this pericope. By applying narrative criticism (focusing on characterization analysis), I am able to understand more clearly the scene's significance within the whole of the Markan gospel. This method addresses some of the subtleties within the text. When informed by discussions from feminist studies, it can explore the abundant nuances that exist within Mark's female characterizations. Dewey (1993) focuses on issues of gender within Markan stories involving females "because feminist scholars have often found that using gender as a major category of analysis reveals aspects of texts and tradition hitherto unnoticed" (178). Although the Greek Syrophoenician woman is a minor female character (appearing only once in Mark), she plays a pivotal role in Jesus' mission to the Gentiles. It is suggested that, due to his encounter with this intelligent, witty, persistent female character, Jesus is persuaded to expand his activities among the Gentiles. The woman speaks out and influences not only her own life and that of her daughter, but the other Gentiles with whom Jesus comes into contact in the ensuing narrative. Chapter 1 of my thesis begins with a review of the literature on Mk 7:24-30, mentioning the fundamental issues discussed in the field: textual variations; forms classifications for Jesus' saying and for the story as a whole; the socio-historical factors that influence this first-century 2 interaction (such as male-female relations and Jew-Gentile relations); and the literary features (such as structural context for the pericope, key-words in the scene, analogies to other stories, themes discussed, and characters analyzed). I also indicate where further research is needed in the exegesis of Mk 7:24-30. Since many of the unsolved mysteries about this pericope revolve around the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman, this female protagonist becomes the focus of my analysis. Chapter 2 develops the method that I shall employ for analyzing her characterization. This will involve reviewing the theoretical discussions about character and characterization from both biblical and non-biblical theorists, including theories on speech representation from literary criticism and linguistics. The analysis of her characterization is done in two stages. The first stage abstracts from the text character information that the narrator provides about her. The second stage resolves the character back into the larger narrative. In the first stage, the character indicators about the character need to be extracted; four methods of evaluation are proposed. These indicators need to be placed within their socio-historical and literary contexts; the indicators can then be translated into character traits. Narrative devices that appear in Mk 7:24-30 are also analyzed to discover their influence on the reader's understanding of the character (i.e., speech representation, two-step progression, transitional episodes, and the order in which information is presented to the reader). A categorization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman is also required so that her character can be compared with other characters and their stories. In the second stage, the character is resolved back into the larger narrative through highlighting aspects of Mk 7:24-30 that can be compared or contrasted to other stories; these aspects include themes, vocabulary, and sociological relations (Jew-Gentile and male-female). Chapter 3 applies this narrative critical method to the woman's characterization in Mk 7:24-30. The abstraction of the woman's character points out the significant information about 3 her. By placing this information within its literary and socio-historical context, it appears that Jesus and the woman have different expectations of each other because of their different religious affiliations and their different genders; they also have different associations with the term 'dogs' due to their different cultural backgrounds. By looking at the speech representation in Mk 7:24-30, it is clear that the woman succeeds in changing Jesus' mind by ingeniously transforming his metaphor so as to include the Gentiles within God's kingdom. In the second stage of the analysis (resolving her character back into the text) two of the categories that apply to the woman are used to investigate her connections to the larger Markan narrative. The first category—female— requires a discussion about male-female relations, including comparisons between Mk 7:24-30 and other Markan stories about women involved in healings and women who are mothers to daughters; it also includes comparisons between Mk 7:24-30 and three non-Markan stories about women (the Hebrew Biblical stories about the widow of Zarephath and Jezebel, and the Greek story by Plutarch about Eumetis). Scholars have already discussed the connections between the widow of Zarephath and the Greek Syrophoenician woman and have begun to compare Eumetis and the Greek Syrophoenician woman. The connections between Jezebel and the Greek Syrophoenician woman have yet to be explored. The second category-Gentile—connects Mk 7:24-30 with other Markan stories about Gentiles. Besides discussing Jew-Gentile relations in Mark, I examine how the narrator portrays Gentiles and how he develops the Gentile mission as the narrative progresses. Comparing these stories and their related themes begins the process of resolving the Greek Syrophoenician woman's character back into the larger Markan narrative, and shows what her function is within that story world. Chapter 4 summarizes my conclusions about the Greek Syrophoenician woman's character and characterization, including the implications for the story in which this character appears and for the larger narrative that she influences. In my conclusions, I also make suggestions as to future directions for research on Mk 7:24-30, and where narrative criticism's theoretical foundation can be expanded. Since I am writing this thesis in the post-structuralist era, I believe it is important to mention my personal approach to this undertaking.2 Any analysis can include personal bias, making it questionable what to accept as 'objective fact.' Veeser (1989) suggest that interpreters challenge the idea of "disembodied objectivity" and acknowledge openly in their writing their individual interests, assumptions, and biases (v); and Greenblatt (1989) advises interpreters to have "methodological self-consciousness" (12).3 I shall make explicit in this introduction the aspects of my cultural background that I believe may influence my interpretation; in chapter 2 (and in appendices B and C) I shall discuss the method that I am using and its assumptions. By identifying to you, the reader, some of my personal biases and assumptions, I do not intend them to constrain my interpretation of the text, yet I recognize that they may blind me to other options or influence my preference for one interpretation over another. Although I strive to support my analyses with reason and existing interpretations, I do not believe that I am 'objective' in my observations; I offer my interpretation of the text of Mk 7:24-30. This interpretation may be influenced by my background (Porter and Clarke 1997, 14-15). I am a Canadian-born woman with ancestors of European descent. My educational experience was founded on a 'Western' approach, with its implicit assumptions about absolute ideals and dualisms, and with methods founded on an 'objective' scientific empiricism (Minton and Shipka 1982, 124). I accept that my background influences my world-view, and I attempt to identify in my thesis my subjective statements, my assumptions, and my relative viewpoint. Another factor influencing my background is my being a member of a liberal religious community.4 I may intend to stand outside my 'faith' stance to interpret Mk 7:24-30 by its own standards, yet I 5 recognize that my religious assumptions may influence my interpretation unconsciously and consciously. There are also assumptions about the narrative that are useful to discuss before proceeding. The oldest text that offers a basic chronology of Jesus' adult life is commonly referred to as 'the Gospel of Mark.' Mark was probably written before the other three New Testament gospels (Matthew, Luke, and John), coming into its final form either preceding or following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (65-75 C.E.) (Selvidge 1990, 4; Hooker 1991, 8).5 As to where the Gospel of Mark was written, critics argue about whether it was written in Rome, southern Syria, or Palestine (in Galilee); "there is no consensus on the setting of [the writing] of Mark" (Donahue 1995, 2). The writer of Mark preserves oral and possibly written traditions that were handed down from the followers of Jesus to the early 'Jesus movement'; this writer then composed this gospel narrative, using narrative and stylistic devices that would communicate to his first-century audience various theological messages about Jesus' words, actions, and life. 6 NOTES Introduction 'Porter and Clarke (1997) explain that "[t]he word exegesis itself is derived from the Greek term s^rj/so/uai, which literally meant 'lead out of.' When applied to written texts the word referred to the 'reading out' of the text's meaning. More generally, exegesis also meant to explain, interpret, report or describe" (5). By 'post-structuralism' I am referring to the reaction against "structuralist pretensions to scientific objectivity and comprehensiveness. . . .[This school of thought] emphasized the instability of meanings. . . . [and sets] out to dissolve the fixed binary oppositions of structuralist thought. . . . [favouring] a non-hierarchical plurality or 'free-play' of meanings, stressing the indeterminacy of texts" (Baldick 1990, 175-176). For further discussion about the need for the interpreter's implicit (or explicit) reflection upon him/herself, and the need to recognize that he/she is not reading the biblical text from a neutral stance, see Moore (1989, 174, 181) and Porter and Clarke (1997, 14-17). 3Veeser (1989) and Greenblatt (1989) apply the New Historicism method (Baldick 1990, 150). In use since the early 1980s, New Historicism questions the traditional historical approach and its "disembodied objectivity." It studies literary words within their historical and political contexts (Baldick 1990, 150). I shall apply these suggestions from Veeser and Greenblatt, although I do not apply the complete method of New Historicism. 4I am a member of the Unitarian Universalist religious movement. It is a non-credal movement (having no required set of beliefs to which one must adhere to become a member); value is placed on the use of reason and the use of religious freedom while being responsible and ethical in the application of one's individual choice. The New Testament is seen as one body of religious texts among many from the various world religions to which one can turn for inspiration about ethical and spiritual issues. Rather than approaching the New Testament gospels as a set of documents that offer verbatim literal descriptions of historical events, I understand them primarily as stories intended to affect their readers or hearers through the writers' theologies; of course they do contain some historically accurate information. From my own religious viewpoint, I believe that Jesus was a human being, a prophet, not a divine figure; he probably lived c. 6 B.C.E. to 30 C.E. Much research has been done on the topic of who Jesus believed himself to be, and who his followers believed him to be. In Mark (the oldest gospel), Jesus is portrayed as the Messiah ('the anointed one') (8:29) and a son of God (1:1; 15:39); since the Markan Jesus says that 'God is one' (12:29) and rebukes the rich man that calls Jesus good, saying 'no one is good but God alone' (10:18), it appears to me that Mark portrays Jesus as not considering himself a divine figure. A detailed discussion of Jesus' identity is outside the purview of this paper, but I offer these few comments to indicate my personal views on the historical Jesus and the Markan Jesus, so that they are explicit to you, the reader. 5The text does not indicate who wrote this gospel. Early Christian Church tradition has it that Mark (Peter's disciple) was the author, basing the gospel on Peter's reminiscences of Jesus. New Testament scholars, however, believe that the information in this gospel does not come from a single source (Peter), but from multiple sources through oral traditions. Even though the name of the writer of the Gospel of Mark is not known, for simplicity's sake, I shall be referring to the writer/narrator as 'Mark' (and as 'he'); I shall also be referring to 7 the text known as the Gospel of Mark as 'Mark'-- the context will make it clear whether I am alluding to the narrator or the text. When I refer to 'Jesus' as the character in Mark, I am not assuming that it is an accurate portrayal of the historical Jesus, but that it is one person's literary depiction of him. 8 CHAPTER 1 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON MK 7:24-30 I. Introduction Mk 7:24-30 is one of the most difficult and puzzling passages in the Gospel of Mark (Hasler 1933-34, 459; Harmon 1951, 754-755). Much has been written about it, but there is a lack of consensus about its meaning. In evaluating the current state of the exegesis on Mk 7:24-30, some of the fundamental issues will be examined, such as textual variations, form classifications, socio-historical factors, and literary features (including structural context, significant vocabulary, analogies, thematic content and characterization). In reviewing the literature on Mk 7:24-30 it is clear that much has already been understood and commented upon, but nuances remain that have yet to be explored. There are three parts to this chapter. Part I provides a framework for the review by outlining the parts of this chapter. Part II is an overview of existing interpretations of Mk 7:24-30, classified according to the method used.1 Part III summarizes the overall field, and what remains to be explored in an exegesis of this passage. I shall propose an hypothesis that addresses one unexplored area and a method that will be useful for exploring that area. For the reader's reference, the Greek text of Mk 7:24-30, as well as my translation of this text into English, are to be found in Appendix A (Aland et al. 1983, 150-151).2 9 II. Overview of Interpretations of Mk 7:24-30 Exegesis involves a multifaceted collection of disciplines (Porter and Clarke 1997, 17-18). Many different methods have been applied in the exegesis of Mk 7:24-30. This pericope has been analyzed using the following methods: textual, source, redaction, and form criticisms; historical, feminist, and social criticisms; and literary, structural, narrative, and reader-response criticisms. Although I find that most interpreters address the basic context of the story—namely, the question of Jew-Gentile relations—many do not address the subtler aspects of the pericope. I shall point out these subtleties as I proceed. A. Interpretations of Mk 7:24-30 from Textual, Source, Redaction, and Form Criticisms Textual, source, redaction, and form critics have made some helpful observations about the text. These critics approach the text as a window on history, attempting to see through the text back in time to the original event and its progression from an oral tradition into a written form.3 1. Textual Criticism Textual research has assembled a Greek text of Mk 7:24-30 that most scholars believe is very similar to the original written document of the Gospel of Mark.4 This passage has few textual variations (Downing 1992, 130). Some textual critics note Tvpov KCCI Zitfcbvog('Tyre and Sidon') (7:24) and vai Kvpis ('Yes, sir') (7:28), and suggest that both KCCI ZiScovog and vai are redactional changes made later to assimilate the Markan text with the later Matthean parallel of the story (Mt 15:21-28) (Metzger 1971, 95).5 10 2. Source Criticism Source critics question whether the story of Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman is based on an event in Jesus' lifetime. There is no consensus on this matter. Some critics believe it developed later, during the early Christian Church's struggle to define itself against the Judeans (Bultmann 1963, 38-39; Ringe 1985, 68). Others admit the possibility of the event occurring during Jesus' lifetime, particularly since it does not conform to the social standards of Jesus' day.6 The Greek Syrophoenician woman bests Jesus in a debate, which is unusual not only because she is Gentile, but also because she is a woman. Why would such a counter-cultural story be included in Mark unless it was founded on some historical incident (Dewey 1993, 191)? Are there not other less disconcerting ways for the Markan narrator to introduce a Gentile mission? As well as these counter-cultural aspects, Dewey notes that the story includes features that make it likely to have been transmitted orally; since the story survived in the oral traditions of the early Christian movement, it is likely to be based on an historical event (189). Dewey's argument is not without flaws, but its focus on the counter-cultural aspects of the story points out how the story fits into Mark: 'the lowest' gain in status and favour when they interact with Jesus. Although it is impossible to authenticate the historicity of the story, the source critics' discussion is relevant to my interpretation because it draws attention to those counter-cultural aspects of Mk 7:24-30. 3. Redaction Criticism Although there is debate about the story's historicity, there is little concern about redactional interference after the story was composed by the author of the Markan gospel. Redaction critics generally agree that the pericope is a unitary composition, with 7:24a and 7:31 being an editorial arrangement by the author of Mark (Bultmann 1963, 38-39). Bultmann suggests that npcorov('first') may be a later editorial insertion (7:27). His reasoning, however, 11 is based not on any manuscript evidence, but on the impact it has in the story: "[it] makes a concession, and weakens the comparison on which the argument of Jesus is based" (38).7 I agree with Bultmann that it does weaken the comparison, but its inclusion creates a link between the children and the dogs (on which the woman forms her reply). This link sets up Jesus' subsequent interactions with Gentiles, creating connections within the narrative as a whole. In considering Bultmann's suggested redaction, the interpreter needs to analyze the pericope as part of the whole; narrative criticism helps knit npajxov (7:27) and its editorial arrangement (7:24a, 31) into the existing Markan structure. 4. Form Criticism There is a lack of agreement among form critics in regards to the story type and saying type. The saying is classified both as a chreia (Beavis 1988, 5), and as an apophthegm (Bultmann 1963, 41). The story is classified either as a pronouncement story, a story about Jesus, a miracle story, or a controversy dialogue.9 The pericope is not easily definable, since it has elements from a number of different forms. The use of more than one form may be an attempt by the writer to link subject matter. It is not crucial to decide upon a single classification for the story to understand its meaning within the Markan narrative. It is clear that, although the healing is the context for the scene, the dialogue is its central focus. While there are many ways to describe the dialogue itself, specific forms have been proposed: a controversy dialogue using a metaphor or a riddle (Bultmann 1963, 41; Schiissler Fiorenza 1983, 137; Ringe 1985, 67-68; Rhoads 1994, 355-358; Camery-Hoggath, 1992, 151); and a clever response by an inferior to a superior (Rhoads, 1994, 358). Bultmann (1963) begins the process of examining the dialogue as a 'controversy dialogue.' The form of the controversy dialogue includes both an attack and a reply in a typically rabbinic style, in this case using a metaphor (39-54). What is not mentioned by Bultmann is that the usual pattern for a controversy 12 dialogue is reversed in Mk 7:24-30. Rather than having an event that provokes a hostile question from some onlooker, it is Jesus who provides that hostile saying; the woman responds with a correcting or reproving statement (Ringe 1985, 67). The dialogue includes a discussion about the children, the dogs, and the bread; the use of these terms is described as both a metaphor (Bultmann 1963, 41) and an allegorical riddle (Rhoads 1994, 355-358). Rhoads characterizes the exchange between Jesus and the woman as "a classic example from the ancient Near East of the clever request by an inferior to a superior in which there is an exchange of proverbial sayings" (358-359). In coming to Jesus, a male and a healer, the woman kneels before him, clearly treating him as her superior. The woman's response to Jesus "honours all that he says in his rejection and says nothing to contradict or shame him. She calls him 'lord,' recognizing his right to accept or reject her request. . . . cleverly [making] use of the dynamics of honour and shame in order to get her request granted" (359). Bultmann's controversy dialogue fits the form used by the Markan narrator, and Rhoads' comparison of the dialogue to a classic ancient Near East form of 'the inferior's clever response to a superior' sets the story into its historical, social and literary context. As to the dialogue's overall significance, the Greek Syrophoenician woman is the only Markan woman with whom Jesus ever has this kind of contentious dialogue. Unlike the Pharisees and Scribes, she wins the argument and brings about a change in Jesus' stance, resulting in the healing of her daughter (Munro 1982, 227; Beavis 1988, 6). This change in Jesus' behaviour is the main point of the dialogue (Bultmann 1963, 38). These various forms highlight several key points about the story: the form of the 'controversy dialogue' highlights the contention between Jesus and the woman; the designations for the saying of 'metaphor' and 'riddle' imply a need to decipher the specific vocabulary involved; and the form 'the inferior's response to a superior' indicates that there is a status difference between the two characters so that their relationship must be examined to understand how status is involved. These key points shall be taken up in chapter three. 13 B. Interpretations of Mk 7:24-30 from Feminist, Historical, and Social Criticisms Historical analyses of Mk 7:24-30 draw upon feminist, historical, and social criticisms. One method is often used in conjunction with one or both of the others, since they are all interested in examining the first century context of the story.10 As well as providing valuable comments on the socio-historical context of Mark as a whole, they create a socio-historical context for the story of Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman. 1. Feminist Criticism Not much analysis had been done on Mark and the topic of women (Selvidge 1990, 9). There is increasing interest in gender analyses of Mk 7:24-30." Critics who explore the function of the gender of the Greek Syrophoenician woman note that what she does in the story is remarkable; this female character is a model of a faithful follower of Jesus (Malbon 1983, 34-35; Beavis 1988, 8). Feminist approaches sensitize the reader to the subtle aspects of a story about a woman, aspects that may initially go unnoticed in a narrative dominated by male characters. Feminist critics have formulated responses to formerly unaddressed aspects of this story, such as the extent of its counter-cultural elements (Dewey 1993, 188-189), the significance of the direct speech by the woman (Dewey 1997, 53-54), and the influence a female character has within the Markan Gentile mission (Schiissler Fiorenza 1983, 138). The impact of gender in the narrator's portrayal of the woman in Mk 7:24-30 should be more concretely explored; this exploration can be done through socio-historical investigation into gender roles in both Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures. 14 2. Historical and Social Criticisms Besides the patriarchal context of the story (which feminist critics specifically address), other cultural assumptions can be unearthed in Mark through historical and social criticisms. Although most analyses of Mk 7:24-30 focus on Jew-Gentile relations, many recent examinations focus on male-female relations in the story. Cultural norms within both types of social relations are challenged. Jew-Gentile relations are important to understand, since the Markan gospel suggests a shift in those relations within the Jesus movement. Rhoads (1994) credits Mk 7:24-30 for being pivotal in the development of Jesus' mission to the Gentiles (363). The metaphor Jesus uses about children and dogs alludes to this, with the children representing the Jews, and the dogs representing the Gentiles (356). In placing the story within a social context of the first century, scholars refer to the fundamental social boundary between Jews and Gentiles (Dewy 1993, 189). The boundary is based on the Jewish laws that guard against uncleanness, which was believed to result from contact with Gentiles (as well as through other means). Uncleanness affects the ritual purity that is required for Jews during worship. The woman crosses this boundary when she approaches Jesus. Her interactions with Jesus, however, seem to bring about a change in Jesus' subsequent attitude to Gentiles, and the Gentile mission is developed. As far as gender is concerned, Rhoads sums up the views of many interpreters by suggesting that gender is not an essential issue in Mk 7:24-30 (Rhoads 1994, 367). In discussing this passage, most interpreters do not distinguish between gender roles in Jewish and in Gentile cultures, discussing instead first century culture in general. Differences they do mention include the following: the prescriptive language against women in parts of the Jewish culture (Gundry-Volf 1995, 509; Tufariua 1990, 49); the female personification of wisdom in the Hebrew Bible (perhaps from an Hellenistic influence) (Kee 1992, 228); and the chreiai in Greco-Roman literature rarely being about women (Beavis 1988, 5).12 Although many interpreters do not 15 pursue it, analyzing this pericope according to gender is important. It informs the reader about the Markan social world, the type of gender bias that might exist within it, and how that world is influenced through the responses of Jesus. Jesus' interactions with the Greek Syrophoenician woman make this scene remarkable within that social context. The woman in Mk 7:24-30 is at a double disadvantage within first century society, since not only is she a woman in a patriarchal world, but she also seeks healing for a daughter (when daughters were seen as a liability) (Kraemer 1992, 133; Gundry-Volf 1995, 519). Most interpreters consider that the woman must have been completely alone and isolated from family support, "for if there had been any male relative in her family (or among her in-laws if she had been married), he would have had the responsibility of caring for her and her daughter and of interceding on their behalf.... She may have had sons somewhere, but if she were widowed or divorced they would probably have been taken over by her in-laws" (Ringe 1985, 70). Despite this disadvantage, the woman crosses over the male-female social boundary. When Dewey (1993) analyzes the counter-cultural elements that appear within the six Markan healing narratives involving women, she describes how the Greek Syrophoenician woman violates the prescriptive norms for women's behaviour within the dominant culture. She not only crosses the fundamental social boundary between Jews and Gentiles, but also enters a house where she is not wanted, speaks to a male stranger, and when her request is refused, she does not withdraw but cleverly takes up the challenge and ends up besting Jesus in the debate: "this is the only instance in the extant tradition of Jesus being taught by someone, and that someone is a woman who should not properly be speaking to him at all" (189). This is also the only time in the Markan healing narratives where a woman's words are directly quoted in her dialogue with Jesus (Dewey 1997, 55). The suggestion that her words motivate Jesus' further healings and miracles on Gentile soil shows the significant impact of Mk 7:24-30 on the whole 16 Markan narrative. It is clear that the more socio-historical information a modern reader has, the better he/she will understand this challenging pericope. C. Interpretations of Mk 7:24-30 from Literary, Structural, Narrative, and Reader-Response Criticisms Interpreters have more recently sought to understand Mk 7:24-30 as part of the larger Markan narrative. Understanding the pericope as part of a whole story has helped immensely in revealing its nuances (Rhoads 1994, 343). Literary criticism—and its associated methods of structural, narrative, and reader-response criticisms—has shown how the various threads within Mark are interwoven through this story as well. Socio-historical methods have more recently been combined with these literary methods in an effort to understand the Markan social world and to create a fuller context for the vocabulary used in the text. These literary interpretations often draw attention to the textual analogies to Mk 7:24-30—in vocabulary, in intratextual and intertextual analogues, and in intertextual parallels.13 1. Structural Analyses Unlike form critics, who analyze small segments of the text, structural critics analyze Mk 7:24-30 by locating it within the context of the larger Markan narrative. These critics trace structural patterns that underlie particular writings in an attempt to find groups or 'sets' of similar texts (Gottwald 1987, 24-25). Structural critics divide up the gospel in various ways, without much consensus as to the criteria used in making the divisions or to the resulting divisions themselves. Interpreters place Mk 7:24-30 in the following structures: Achtemeier's miracle catenae, Burkill's parallel cycles, Grassi's three acts, Malbon's echoes and foreshadows in Mark 4-8, and Williams' sections according to the minor characters.14 What several of these structural analyses have in common is that they place this particular pericope within the larger 17 section of Mark 4-8, addressing the analogies between the Greek Syrophoenician woman's story and the other stories within that section (particularly the similarities to the healings of Jairus' daughter and the hemorrhaging woman, and the contrast with the stories about disciples). These analogies will be investigated in the section on narrative criticism. 2. Textual Analogies a) Vocabulary within the story There are a number of key-words in Mk 7:24-30 that the reader must understand for a full appreciation of the story. This vocabulary is found in three areas: the metaphor used by Jesus and the woman; the words used to describe Jesus and the woman; and the setting for the story. Critics place the vocabulary in its socio-historical context, as well as within its literary context. I shall give an overview of their most significant insights, and I shall discuss this vocabulary in more detail later in my analysis of the text (in chapter 3). (I) The metaphor. The metaphor is crucial to the meaning of the story. Interpreters most often analyze the following words: zsKva/naidia ('children'), Kvvapia ('dogs'), nparov ('first'), aprog ('bread'), and xopra^co ('I am satisfied'). These words are placed within the context of intrascriptural and interscriptural references. In all interpretations of Mk 7:24-30, the word TEKVOL is taken to refer to the descendants of the house of Israel.15 Besides TEKVCC, there are other Greek words in Mk 7:24-30 referring to children, each offering a slightly different nuance to the scene. Pokorny (1995) is the only interpreter who makes this distinction. In the introduction to the scene, the narrator describes the woman as having a 'little daughter' {Ovyatpiov, 7:25). When the woman mentions her daughter to Jesus, she describes her as her 'daughter' (dvyarnp, 7:26). In Jesus' reply to her, he uses 'children' in the sense of descendants and privileged members of the house, by which he means 18 the Jews (TSKVCC, 7:27). The woman's reply refers to the children as naidia (7:28), which stresses their immaturity and dependence, so that she pictures the people who come to Jesus as being like children in their dependence on him. In Jesus' final statement, he links the healed child to her mother, referring to the child as 'your daughter' (trjg Qvyazpog GOV, 7: 29). In the last sentence the narrator calls the healed daughter 'the child' (TO rtaiSwv, 7:30), reinforcing the woman's view of the children as dependent.16 Through the use of these different terms, the reader is forced to shift his/her understanding of the metaphor; the bread is not only for the Jews, but it is for all who are dependent and immature (such as the Gentile woman's daughter) (Pokorny 1995,337). Discussion around the term Kvvapia centres on three main issues: that 'dogs' is a Hebrew Scriptural reference to Gentiles; that Jesus and the woman have different attitudes to dogs due to their different cultural backgrounds; and that Kvvapia is a diminutive form of KVCOV ('dog'). In interpretations of Mk 7:24-30, the Kvvapia are the unclean lowly creatures, often the enemies (which most interpreters assume refers to the Gentiles). The Gentiles are pejoratively compared to 'dogs' in Hebrew Scriptural references, as well as in rabbinic references (Guelich 1989, 386; Burkill 1972, 109 n.15; Mally 1968, 37).17 The Hebrew Biblical references often do focus on 'dogs' being unclean, and therefore defiled, animals (Pokorny 1995, 324). There is also a reference in Dt 23:19 to the Hebrew term keleb ('dog'); this term has been interpreted as meaning a male cultic functionary in a pagan temple (Thomas in Burkill 1972, 109). These are not the only connotations connected to the term 'dogs,' however, so further investigation into its Hebrew Scriptural representation is warranted. As far as the different cultural attitudes to dogs is concerned, scholars commonly assume that Jews thought dogs were unclean scavengers, and that Gentiles saw dogs as domestic pets.18 Downing (1992) provides another possible explanation for why the Markan narrator might have 19 included a reference to dogs in Mk 7:24-30. Downing compares the view of dogs within that pericope to sayings unfavourably comparing Cynics to dogs: "There's a lot about dogs in the commentaries, very little about dogs at table" (139). He presents an interesting hypothesis that the woman in this passage has the traits of a Cynic philosopher and that Jesus recognizes this fact (143). In comparing the use of the term 'dogs' in intertextual references concerning Cynics and in the references concerning the woman in Mk 7:24-30, Downing makes three salient points. The first point is that dogs are pictured at the table, eating remnants. There are a couple of examples of dogs at the table that appear in Jewish and Greek literature.19 Downing also discovered references in which people agreed to be called 'dog.' Many such examples in the Greek-speaking world describe people "explicitly or apparently conventionally" referring negatively to Cynics (140). The second point is that when Cynics are compared with dogs, Cynics not only accept the comparison, but they often responded in witty repartee.21 In these examples, it is clear that 'giving remnant scraps to the dogs' was a known way of insulting the Cynics (who were at the table for feasts) and that Cynics were not put off by the insult. The third point is that there were female Cynics, who were also referred to as dogs. There is merit in Downing's interpretation of the woman's response to Jesus' metaphor about dogs (accepting it, turning it to her own advantage, perhaps Cynic-like). I would not necessarily conclude, however, that Jesus intended to address her as a Cynic. It is necessary to distinguish between Jesus' association with the term 'dog' and that of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. Their different associations with the term might be due to their different cultural backgrounds. The sociological differences between the role of dogs in Jewish and in Gentile cultures needs further investigation. (This shall be discussed in the analysis in chapter three.) As to the form of KVCOV, Hellenistic writers were not consistent in their use of the diminutive so it is not necessarily a factor in this story (Burkill 1972, 111; Derrett 1977, 151 n. 4). Although some interpreters believe that the diminutive reduces the harshness of Jesus' insult 20 to the woman, most accept that there is an intended denigration of the woman by Jesus, regardless of the diminutive form.22 It is clear that within the Jewish scriptural context, 'dog' is a term for something negative, something unclean, that scavenges. As far as the significance of the word npmzov ('first'), it suggests that the Jews/children receive God's benefits first. Gentiles/dogs receive them subsequently. Bultmann (1963) thinks that TipcoTov may have been a later addition to the text; if that were the case, the original intent of the narrator was to have the Jews as the exclusive recipients of Jesus' work. This, however, is not clear in Mark, since both Jews and Gentiles receive God's benefits within the narrative. The word npcbzov('first') needs further intratextual and intertextual examination to arrive at a clear understanding of how nparov fits within the Markan narrative.23 Scholars look to the larger Markan context to explore the significance of the words apzog ('bread') and zopra^co ('I am satisfied'). 'Bread' is symbolic as a life-giving substance. Pokorny (1995) believes that "in all cultures bread is a metonymy of life and even of eternal life and that Mark was aware of it. Jesus' answer is metaphorical in a double sense" (324). Bread has another symbolic reference: of table fellowship, and how it this is forbidden between Jews and Gentiles. Within the Markan narrative, the words aptov('bread') and xopra£co ('I am satisfied') connect Mk 7:24-30 with the two feedings of the multitudes (Jews, then Gentiles) (Mk 6:35-44; 8:1-10). The Jewish feeding is first and the Gentile feeding comes last, with the story of the Greek Syrophoenician woman and Jesus sandwiched in between. In Mark, the verb xopza£a> ("I am satisfied") is found only in these three stories (6:42, 7:27, and 8:4,8), reinforcing the significance of their connection (Schiissler Fiorenza 1983, 138; Downing 1992, 142). These verbal threads help to link the three episodes in the reader's mind, showing the major change of strategy that has occurred in Jesus' mission (Rhoads 1994, 361-363).24 It is the Greek 21 Syrophoenician woman's response that changes Jesus' mind, and prompts Jesus to engage in a major ministry to the Gentiles. Verbal threads link the Markan stories with the Hebrew Scriptural story of David and the shewbread (1 Sm 21:1-6) and with other Markan stories about the Jewish authorities and about the disciples (Drury 1987, 414-416). Drury analyzes the Markan episodes dealing with 'bread' in what he terms "The Riddle of the Bread." He compares the story about David and the shewbread (1 Sm 21:1-6) with the Markan references to bread.25 The story about David helps explain the numerical references in the two feeding stories. David takes five loaves, which would leave seven (since shewbread is set out in twelve loaves) (Lv 24). In Mark these numbers have significance. The first feeding starts with five loaves among five thousand people and ends with twelve baskets left of bits of bread (Mk 6:35-44). The number twelve refers to the twelve tribes of Israel, the Jews. The second feeding starts with seven loaves among four thousand people and ends with seven baskets left of bits of bread (Mk 8:1-10). The number seven is the sacred number of fulfilment, with "[t]he miraculous feeding of Gentiles [as] a consummation even greater than the miraculous feeding of the Jews" (Drury 1987, 416). This feeding of the four thousand "reflects the great question which faced the church after Jesus, of whether or not to admit Gentiles to its sacred meals, and the positive answer to it" (416). Since the story of the Greek Syrophoenician woman also uses the term 'bread,' and since she helps shift Jesus' view of Gentiles, it acts as a bridge between the feeding of Jews and of Gentiles. The theme of eating and bread also connects the story of the Greek Syrophoenician woman "with the disputes with the Jewish leaders, particularly the Pharisees . . . but the more fundamental issues are purity and authority" (Malbon 1986, 122).26 Just prior to the woman's story, there is the dispute over eating with unwashed hands that leads Jesus to imply that all foods are clean, thereby removing one of the basic barriers between Jews and Gentiles (Mk 7:1-23). The Pharisees do not accept Jesus' authority in this matter. In the next story, the Greek 22 Syrophoenician woman does accept Jesus' authority and is therefore allowed into the household that shares the bread of God. Drury (1987) also mentions the connection with the disciples and 'bread.' After the Greek Syrophoenician woman's story and the feeding of the four thousand (and just prior to the healing of the deaf and dumb man), there is a passage where the disciples do not understand Jesus' reference to the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod; they think Jesus is referring to the fact that they only have one loaf of bread (Mk 8:14-21). Jesus rebukes them, wondering if they have ears to hear and eyes to see, since they do not understand even after the feedings of the five thousand and the four thousand. This forms a stark contrast to the previous story in which the Greek Syrophoenician woman does understand the significance of the bread and its abundant power. (2) The words used to describe the woman and Jesus. The words to describe the woman are not often thoroughly examined in existing interpretations. 'EAAnvig('Greek') and ZvpotpoiviKiaaa ('Syrophoenician') are mainly understood by interpreters to indicate that the woman in the story is Gentile (Taylor 1966, 349; Malbon 1992, 44). There is some exploration of them as separate terms. iEXXnvig alludes to her religious status (pagan, i.e., non-Jewish), and her social rank (Greek-speaking, so therefore of the Syrian upper class, perhaps a free citizen).27 The woman being a wealthy 'Hellene' is supported through the reference to her daughter's bed as a KXIVT] rather than the "easily transportable tcpaflatog of the poor people" (Pokorny 1995, 329). In the literature on Mk 7:24-30, there is a minor controversy over whether 'EAArjvig was the original term, or whether there was instead a term for 'widow' or a term for 'pagan woman.' Both of these options are generally discounted. ZvpotpoiviKiaoa TCO yevei ('Syrophoenician by race') is the other major expression used to describe the woman. The socio-historical context for this expression comes from the fact that 23 the ancient land of Phoenicia belonged administratively to the Roman province of Syria; having 'Syro' as a prefix distinguishes it from Libophoenicia (with its centre at Carthage in North Africa) (Lane 1974, 260).29 ZvpofioiviKicrcra rS> ysvsi is a more particular designation for the race to which she belonged. Williams (1994) mentions that "[fjhis difference in race substantially effects the course of the story" but he does not specify exactly how, beyond her being a Gentile (119). Little else is thought to be intimated by the narrator describing her this way, since the story does take place in Syria, making her a local resident. Is there some connection between the nationality of the woman and the contents of this story? This requires further exploration. Why did the narrator chose to include two distinct descriptive words to communicate that she is Gentile? I shall touch on this briefly later in this chapter, in the section on her characterization. Further intratextual and intertextual examination of these two terms is required to elucidate their significance within this story. The word describing Jesus in the story is Kvpis, which could mean 'sir' or 'Lord' (as a confessional title) (Ringe 1985, 67). Most interpreters translate it as 'sir,' although several do believe that the woman recognizes Jesus as the divine Lord. The term simply indicates the woman's acceptance of Jesus' superior status, perhaps due to his ability as a healer (Sugirtharajah 1986, 15). (3) The words used to describe the setting of the story. The other phrase that interpreters note is ra opia Topov ('the region of Tyre'). Tyre was one of the major cities in Phoenicia (Malbon 1992, 44).31 The region of Tyre was known for its antiquity, wealth, and civilization (Gould 1961, 134). The setting for the story places Jesus in mainly Gentile territory. This region is described in the Hebrew Scriptures in both positive and negative ways. One positive image that links the royalty of Tyre and Israel is the friendships between Hiram (king of Tyre) and \David and Solomon (kings of Israel). One negative image shows the Tyrians harshly oppressing their Jewish neighbours.33 The Jewish historian Josephus describes the Tyrians as I 2 4 "notoriously our bitterest enemies" (Contra Apion 1.13); they exploited their Galilean neighbours (who provided food for the Tyrians) (Gundry-Volf 1995, 516). Jesus' saying in Mk 7:27 gains force from the literal competition for food that existed between the Tyrians and the Jews, and may explain Jesus' view of who gets food when (Theissen 1991, 73-75; Downing 1992, 138; Rhoads 1994, 370). Further exploration of the city of Tyre and region may provide additional insights about this pericope. b) Intratextual and intertextual analogues Besides an investigation into the vocabulary of the story, some narrative critics also explore the intratextual and intertextual analogues to Mk 7:24-30. Analogues are specific stories that show some correspondence or similarity with the main text; this assumes that the narrator (consciously or unconsciously) was directing the reader to link these stories and then draw inferences from the analogues in an effort to better understand the main text. (I) Intratextual analogues. Intratextual analogues to the story about the Greek Syrophoenican woman include stories about Jesus and the following characters: Jairus (5:21-24, 35-43); the hemorrhaging woman (5:25-34); the deaf mute (7:31-37); and the disciples (4:11-8:21). Williams (1994) provides an in-depth analysis of intratextual analogues among minor characters in Mark. In his analysis, Williams compares the Greek Syrophoenician woman's story with those mentioned above and finds character similarities and contrasts.34 The Greek Syrophoenician woman and Jairus both come on behalf of their sick daughters (5:23; 7:25); the Greek diminutive form of 'daughter' (Ouyarpiov) is used in Mark only in these two stories (Williams 1994, 46). The Greek Syrophoenician woman and the hemorrhaging woman both hear of Jesus and step outside of accepted social boundaries to gain healing from him. 3 5 A l l three of these characters fall at Jesus' feet, showing a basic pattern of suppliants' actions towards a healer. The Greek Syrophoenician woman and the deaf mute are linked not only by the healing 25 that occurs in each, but also by the use of the verb f5aXXco (T throw'). There is a need for true perception within these two stories, with the woman offering her perception to Jesus, and Jesus offering it to the mute (Williams 1994, 121; Malbon 1983, 127). The Greek Syrophoenician woman serves as a foil for the disciples by showing courage, faith, and understanding, while the disciples often display their fear, disbelief, and lack of understanding about what Jesus says (Williams 1994, 105, 123); this is part of the minor theme of 'suppliants as foils for the disciples' (Rhoads 1994, 346-347). (2) Intertextual analogues. The intertextual analogues interpreters explore are the Hebrew Scriptural story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 17:8-24), and the Synoptic Gospel story of the healing of the centurion's servant (Mt 8:5-13 and Lk 7:1-10). In looking at the relationship between Mk 7:24-30 and a Hebrew Biblical analogue, Derrett (1977) suggests the use of a 'midrashic explanation.' Derrett explains that, when there are dissonances or incongruities in the story of Mk 7:24-30, "we should expect a midrashic explanation . . . . By midrash I mean, in this context, the interaction of [Hebrew Biblical] text and first century event, so that the former seems to be illustrated or revivified by the latter, and the former explains and illumines the latter: the duty of the evangelist is not merely to tell a tale, but also to develop its contextuality with the Hebrew [B]ible. To tell Jesus' life was a representation of familiar [Hebrew Biblical] narrative" (145). i) Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 17:8-24). Derrett (1977) offers a midrashic explanation of Mk 7:24-30 by comparing it to 1 Kgs 17:8-24: the stories in both texts show how Jewish prophets are to be fed first by the Gentiles they encounter, then the Gentiles are allowed to eat; in return for the Gentiles accepting this protocol, acts of power can be performed to sustain those in need, including the healing of Gentile children through the power of men of God (145-149). The word npaxov ('first') (Mk 7:27) is one of the clues that direct us to the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 17:8-24). The perception that the Jews have a right to 26 be fed first is metaphorical and literal. In Mark, it is metaphorical: Jesus says that the children (Jews) must be fed first (7:27). In 1 Kings, it is literal: Elijah requests that the widow of Zarephath feed him (a Jew) first, and then herself and her son (Gentiles) (17:13). Derrett (1977) sees this as an example of the theme of reciprocity, since the "ancient world was concerned about reciprocity, which could endure as an obligation, over generations" (148). The widow's faith is tested by the demand to be fed first, and because she does as the prophet Elijah bids her to do, by the miracle of Elijah's God there continues to appear enough food for them all to survive; as well, when her son takes ill and appears to die, Elijah revives him (1 Kgs 17:17-24). Although Jesus also heals a Gentile child in the Markan story, the theme of reciprocity does not explicitly apply since "[t]he Syrophoenician woman had no claim on the basis of reciprocity, but the work of Elijah might supply a precedent"; the Jews need authority or precedent to act with Gentiles (Derrett 1977, 149). In comparing the two female characters, both are Gentiles and come from the same area. Zarephath is located part-way between Tyre and Sidon (Burkill 1972, 72). Neither the Greek Syrophoenician woman nor the widow of Zarephath appears to have an adult male in the household who could be sent to converse with a male Jewish prophet. Derrett notes that the same Greek word is used to describe the piece of furniture pictured in the healing scene of the offspring: idlivrj ('couch/bed') (3 Kgs 17:19 in LXX; Mk 7:30); this might indicate that both the widow and the Greek Syrophoenician woman are of the upper class.36 These similarities make the analogies between the two women even stronger. Both women accept the protocol of feeding the Jews first, and both they and their children benefit by it. ii) The healing of the centurion's servant (Mt 8:5-13 and Lk 7:1-10). The story of the healing of the centurion's servant is another passage that is compared to the story of the healing of the Greek Syrophoenician's daughter.37 Both stories feature a Gentile intermediary coming to 27 ask for healing for one of their dependents, and that healing is done at a distance (Burkill 1972, 75). Healing at a distance is a motif within the healing theme, not only within the Synoptic Gospels, but also within the Hebrew Scriptures. Pokorny (1995) reminds us that in 2 Kgs 5, the Gentile Aramean commander of the army, Naaman, is also healed at a distance, by the Jewish prophet Elisha (329). Distance healing in the gospel traditions is only done with Gentiles: the Greek Syrophoenician woman's daughter and the centurion's servant (Pesch in Downing 1992, i 135). The reason for a distance healing is not explored to any great extent; most interpreters assume that it is due to the dependent being Gentile, and therefore unclean for Jewish contact. This is not supportable. If Gentiles' uncleanliness is meant to explain why they must be healed at a distance from the Jewish healer, how is this reconciled with the picture Jesus presents in the story immediately proceeding Mk 7:24-30 (in which Jesus declares all food clean, thereby removing a major impediment to Jew-Gentile contact) (Mk 7:1-23)? In Mark, Gentiles had already been healed by Jesus in person (3:8; 5:1-20). These distance healings require further examination before the reason for this form of healing is made clear. Perhaps distance healing involves the power of the spoken word (Alter 1981, 69). In both the Lukan and Matthean version of the centurion's story and the Markan version of the Greek Syrophoenician woman's story, reference is made to the word: the centurion says to Jesus, aXXa juovov EIKE Xoyco ('but only speak the word' Mt 8:8) or aXXa EITTE Xoyco ('but speak the word' Lk 7:7); Jesus says to the woman, Am TOUTOV TOV Xoyov^iox saying that' Mk 7:29). The centurion knows that Jesus, like himself, can speak the word and the power that is invested in him gets the job done. Jesus knows the woman's word has shown him that there is a place for the dogs/Gentiles. There are also contrasts between the stories about the centurion and the Greek Syrophoenician woman. For example, the commander's request for help is not rejected by Jesus. Gundry-Volf (1995) explains why this might be: 28 [In the story with the centurion,] Jesus sees no problem for his exclusive mission to the Jews in the fact that a Gentile is seeking help from him. Perhaps the reason is that the centurion has approached Jesus man to man, commander to commander. The commonality between them apparently bridges the gap. Jesus responds without hesitation to the centurion's faith (8:7,13). But this ministry to a Gentile is not programmatic; a Gentile mission does not develop from it [as it does develop in the Markan story]" (520). The woman's gender may well play more of an influential role in the Markan story than some interpreters think. c) Intertextual parallel A 'parallel' is when the same story appears in more than one text; the versions usually differ to some degree. The intertextual parallel to Mk 7:24-30 is the Matthean story of Jesus and the Canaanite woman (15:21-28).39 Since the Matthean version was most likely written down in its present form after the Markan version, the parallel does not significantly influence my interpretation of Mark; I use the comparison between the two parallel versions to clarify certain aspects of Mk 7:24-30. In the Matthean and Markan versions of the story, five points of comparison are of most interest to me: the saying of Jesus; how the narrator refers to the woman; how the woman refers to Jesus; how the woman's faith is portrayed; and how her speech affects her relationship to the reader. The Markan Jesus' saying includes the Gentiles in his mission from the beginning, whereas the Matthean Jesus' saying initially excludes the Gentiles from his mission; both stories end with the Gentile woman's child healed, so some shift occurs in Jesus' view in both versions.40 The narrators in the parallel stories both make it clear that the woman is Gentile, but each uses different descriptors: in Mark, she is 'Greek Syrophoenician' (7:26), while in Matthew, she is 'Canaanite' (15:22). The woman in Mark addresses Jesus as Kvpie ('Sir') (7:28), and in Matthew as Kvpie viog AauiS'('Lord, son of David') (15:22) (Kraemer 1992, 132). In Mark, the woman's faith is implicit in her actions and her words, 29 whereas in Matthew, her faith is explicitly commented on by Jesus (15:28) (Burkill 1972, 75; Mann 1986, 320). Although the woman's actions have an impact on Jesus, Dewey (1997) mentions that "rendering a character in direct speech makes him or her more vivid for the reader, but not necessarily more admirable. Mimetic emphasis is needed to render a woman visible at all. How she is visible depends on the content of the narrative, and may or may not serve patriarchal interests" (57).41 In both Matthew and Mark, the woman's words to Jesus are directly quoted. For example, Matthew shows the woman to be less admirable (nagging Jesus to get a response, rather than speaking with intelligence and faith). This nagging may be a more acceptable portrayal of a woman in an androcentric culture (57). In the Markan version of that story, however, the woman is initially portrayed negatively but, as Markan theology tells us, the last can become first, and the woman is seen to be a positive role model due to her boldness and intelligence. 3. Narrative Components As well as textual analogies, literary and narrative critics also discuss the themes and characterizations in Mk 7:24-30. To understand the meaning of a particular text, it is important not only to see what ideas, or themes, are expressed within it, but also to understand this story's impact on the whole of the Markan narrative.42 a) Themes developed within Mk 7:24-30 I divide the themes into major and minor, according to the extent and significance of their development within the pericope. The major themes are: healing, faith, Gentile mission and Gentile portrayal, conflict, clean/unclean, insider/outsider, eating and food, and gender.43 The 30 minor themes include: reciprocal visitation, house as private setting, Jesus' withdrawal, Jesus' identity, Jesus' power and authority, the suppliants as foils for the disciples, and followership. (1) Major themes. i) Healing. The healing theme sets the context for Mk 7:24-30.44 Healing is a Markan type-scene, and Mk 7:24-30 provides an example of this type-scene.45 Rhoads (1994) summarizes the healing type-scene conventions, and provides some insightful analysis of where the conventions are repeated and where they are varied in Mk 7:24-30 (349-352). The basic features of the Markan type-scene of healing are as follows: a setting of place and/or time; the suppliant having heard about Jesus; the narrator introducing the suppliant and the sickness; the suppliant (or their surrogate) coming to Jesus for healing; the suppliant kneeling before Jesus or falling at his feet; the suppliant overcoming an obstacle to get the request met; Jesus fulfilling the request; the healing occurring; Jesus giving a further command; the suppliant ignoring Jesus' command; the reaction of the observers (349-351). Of the variations introduced in the particular healing scene with the Greek Syrophoenician woman, the most significant are that the suppliant is obviously Gentile, that the obstacle is couched in a riddle, and that the woman obeys Jesus' command to 'go off; and there is no reaction by observers, since the setting is private (Rhoads 1994, 351-352).46 Of particular interest is that the healing is done at a distance, the only recorded instance of this in Mark (although, as mentioned earlier, there are examples of distance healing in the Synoptic Gospels and the Hebrew Scriptures) (Malbon 1983, 36-37; Grassi 1988, 11; Pokorny 1995, 329).47 Derrett (1977) points out that the Greek Syrophoenician woman in Mark does not ask for absence healing; Jesus' use of this method does not imply any reluctance on Jesus' part to visit her daughter, as is often assumed (156). Not all scholars, however, believe that the Markan story is a healing at a distance. Taylor (1966) attributes Jesus' knowing about the demon leaving AO the daughter to his "supernatural knowledge" (348). Certainly, Jesus' knowing of what came 31 to pass is part of the mystery of this passage, yet Jesus' role in the healing cannot be dismissed. As Taylor himself points out, in Mark healing is usually done by Jesus' contact with the sufferer (l:31f; 3:10; 5:41; 6:5, 56, etc.) or by his commanding word (1:25; 5:8; 9:25) (348). The healings seem to be a result of the power that comes from the Markan God and is accessed through Jesus. Perhaps how the dogs are satisfied in the metaphor offers a parallel to how the daughter is healed. The dogs are not directly given food but, as part of the process of the children eating, the crumbs fall; the dogs are inadvertently satisfied by the crumbs of the children. Jesus does not need to directly heal the daughter; his being there and acknowledging that this is possible is enough to heal the child indirectly. ii) Faith. In Mark, women have access to healing due to their faith in Jesus and his power (Kee 1977, 228-229). It is clear that the faith of both the healer and the suppliant are required for the healing to occur; faith in God can bring about great acts of power, and lack of faith can block acts of power (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 108, 131). The faith of those healed (or their intermediary) is often expressed in observable behaviour, with persistence as an overt sign of faith (131). The Greek Syrophoenician woman exhibits her faith implicitly simply by coming to Jesus for healing (130). Through her actions and her words, she becomes a female model of faith within Mark (Beavis 1988, 8).49 iii) Conflict. Although healing is the context for the scene, the controversy between Jesus and the woman becomes the focus of the scene. Conflict is central to many stories, including those within Mark.50 There are three Markan conflict plot lines: Jesus in conflict with suppliants, with the authorities, and with his disciples (Rhoads 1994, 346-347).51 These three plot lines intersect in Mk 7:24-30. Jesus is initially in conflict with the suppliant. His conflict with the authorities over purity (in the previous passage) is part of the background to Jesus' response in this passage. The woman's understanding of what Jesus says acts as a contrast to the disciples' lack of understanding of what he says (358-359). As well, conflict need not refer to 32 external opposition only, but may refer to internal controversy (Burrus 1992, 241). It is possible that Jesus himself was not yet sure how his interactions with this woman applied to Jew-Gentile relations. Since the woman's clever request honors all Jesus says and she does not directly shame him, Jesus could overcome his internal controversy and fulfil the woman's request (Rhoads 1994,358). iv) Gentile mission and Gentile portrayal. After the resolution of the conflict between Jesus and the woman, Jesus engages in other Gentile healings and miracles (7:31-8:10, 8:22-9:1). A whole range of opinions exists as to whether Jesus engaged in a Gentile mission during his lifetime. The opinions about how Mk 7:24-30 influences a Gentile mission range from one end of the spectrum to the other: at one end, the Greek Syrophoenician woman is considered the apostolic foremother of all Gentile Christians (Schiissler Fiorenza 1983, 138) and, at the other end, the extension of Jesus' ministry to the Gentiles is not the point of the narrative at all (since Jesus is considered not to have even taught on Gentile soil) (Hooker 1991, 181).52 In between these extremes are various positions: her story is the breakthrough to a mission among Gentiles (Rhoads 1994, 348); or it is one story in various degrees of expansion of the Gentile mission (Malbon 1992, 46); or the healing simply opens the way "in the long run" for Jesus' (and the Church's) Gentile mission (Ringe 1985, 65). Downing (1992) thinks that, as with "most issues of detailed interpretation, the discussion [about a Gentile mission] remains indecisive, lacking as it does sufficient contextual controls to enable an objective choice among the options canvassed" (138). I am not sure that an 'objective' choice can be made as to whether a mission occurred during Jesus' lifetime. Greater agreement might be possible if the interpreters focused on how a Gentile mission is portrayed in Mark. The Markan context is established by examining Jesus' activities among the Gentiles in Mark, taking into consideration the socio-historical context of the first century. Whether or not Jesus engaged in a Gentile mission in the real world, the Markan story world includes Jesus' interactions with Gentiles. The story of the Greek 33 Syrophoenician woman is seen by many interpreters as pivotal within the development of a Gentile mission within Mark.53 Malbon (1992, 1993) and Rhoads (1994) both examine the development of the Gentile mission within Mark's story world. As mentioned above, Malbon thinks there are degrees of expansion of the Gentile mission and that Jesus shows an intent for that mission in chapters 5, 6, and 7, beginning with Jesus' healings of Legion, the Greek Syrophoenician's daughter, and the deaf mute, and continuing in chapter 8 with the feeding of the four thousand (1992, 46). These developments are reinforced with the recurring leitmotif of the disciples attempting to get to Bethsaida (a Gentile village at the north end of the Sea of Galilee). They do not get to Gentile Bethsaida (6:45) since they do not understand that the good news is extended to the Gentiles, which is implied in the healing of the Gerasene demoniac in chapter 5 (Malbon 1993, 229).54 The disciples do, however, reach Bethsaida in 8:22, after the healing of the Greek Syrophoenician woman's daughter in chapter 7 and the feeding of the four thousand earlier in chapter 8. I agree that chapters 5-8 are the central chapters in looking at the shift in Gentile mission and that this leitmotif is somehow involved in pointing out the shift in Gentile mission. I do think, however, it is necessary to trace its plot line throughout Mark to see the extent to which Gentiles are involved and how they are portrayed by the narrator. Rhoads (1994) also examines the Gentile mission. Rhoads notes that Jesus was sent away from Decapolis in the story of the Gerasene demoniac and that, once the Greek Syrophoenician woman's saying changes Jesus' mind, Jesus then engages in a major ministry to the Gentiles, beginning in his return to Decapolis (7:31) (361-362). As mentioned previously in the review of the literature, Rhoads connects the three episodes of the Jewish feeding, the Greek Syrophoenician woman, and the Gentile feeding through the use of the verbal threads of 'take,' 'bread,' 'be satisfied,' and 'eat' (362-363). Through connecting the three episodes, Rhoads clearly believes that the Greek Syrophoenician woman's saying is what changes Jesus' mind and 34 causes a major change in his strategy about the Gentile mission. Although Rhoads thinks there is a major shift in strategy, Jesus is still working within an eschatological framework; the work he does among Gentiles "foreshadows a later Gentile mission projected into the future of the story world" when, before the end time, the good news must be proclaimed to all the nations to the ends of the earth (13:10, 27) (Rhoads 1994, 363). In looking at the development of that mission, it is necessary to see whether this mission exists only in the future of the Markan story world, or whether Jesus' interactions with Gentiles show that the mission is already underway. v) Clean/unclean. One significant boundary between Jews and Gentiles is based on what is considered clean and unclean. The theme of clean/unclean is a thread that is woven into Mk 7:24-30 from the preceding passage.55 Mk 7:1-23 is about Jesus' dispute with the Pharisees about what constitutes a defiled state. The cause of the dispute is the Pharisees seeing Jesus' disciples eating with unwashed hands. The Jewish tradition is to avoid what is unclean by washing, thereby removing any contact they have had with anything unclean (including Gentiles) (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 82).56 Jesus believes that, if necessity demands, the oral tradition can be ignored, but not the Torah (Mann 1986, 89).57 After Jesus berates the Pharisees for putting their own traditions before God's commandments, he tells the crowd a parable that "there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile" (Mk 7:15). He explains to his disciples that what comes into a person from the outside goes into the stomach and not the heart, and therefore goes out into the sewer (thereby implying that all food is clean); he explains that it is from the intentions within the human heart that evil comes. As Hooker (1991) describes it, "cleanness depends on attitudes," not on being Jew or Gentile (181). There seems to be a contradiction between Mk 7:1-23 and Mk 7:24-30: if Jesus declares all food clean in the former story (removing a major barrier between Jews and Gentiles), why does he seem to refer to the unclean status of the dog/woman in the latter story by putting the 35 dogs at a distance? If Jesus is not concerned with the physical uncleanness of the woman, is he worried about her spiritual uncleanness? Downing (1992) remarks that some critics ask " 'Why does a request for exorcism elicit a response in terms of food?'. . . . It should in fact be obvious that a woman, foreign, idolatrous, from a household with an unclean spirit, raises most forcefully issues of purity and distinctiveness, for which food is the symbolic focus" (138). The woman's response seems to cause Jesus to re-evaluate his understanding of the Gentiles' place in the kingdom of God, perhaps reminding him—and the reader-that cleanliness depends on the attitude in a person's mind and body and not what passes through their body (as Jesus himself had taught his disciples in the passage just previous). The lack of cultic cleanliness of the Gentiles in the story held no barrier to their participation in the powers that work through Jesus; "as the beneficiary of that power, [the Greek Syrophoenician woman] becomes the symbol and prototype of other faithful Gentiles who will share in the benefits of the kingdom of God" (Kee 1977, 92). Jesus has authority over what is clean and unclean (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 105-106). His ministry can remove barriers between Jews and Gentiles (Guelich 1989, 388). vi) Insider/outsider. The insider/outsider theme deals with the issue of boundaries, just as the clean/unclean theme does. Malbon (1993) notes that in Mark the roles of insider/outsider are not what you expect, since Mark is permeated by a "reversal of expectations [based on] historically conditioned expectations" (42-43). In Mark, to be an insider or outsider is not based on social status or role, but on the character's response to Jesus. According to the Markan standards of judgment, an insider is one who 'thinks the things of God' rather than 'thinking the things of people' (Rhoads 1994, 365). An insider in Mark is one who sees, hears, and understands what Jesus communicates about the kingdom of God (Malbon 1992, 37). The minor characters—"the little ones who have faith"—share with Jesus the values of the kingdom of God (Rhoads 1994, 366). In particular, the Greek Syrophoenician woman embodies 'the things of God' in several ways: she shows her faith by coming to Jesus; she serves and brings life by 36 coming on her daughter's behalf; and she accepts being 'least' in her dialogue with Jesus by accepting being the 'dog' in Jesus' metaphor (Rhoads 1994, 366-367). By exhibiting that she embodies the things of God, she is then an insider in the kingdom that Jesus describes. As well, her faith and her understanding of what Jesus is saying about the kingdom make her an insider (Moore 1992, 24). The Greek Syrophoenician woman, in contrast to the disciples, begins as an outsider (being Gentile and a woman), and ends the story being an insider, understanding Jesus' metaphor and message. vii) Eating and food. The theme of eating and food is traced through the use of the words apzoq ('bread'), SCTOICO (T eat'), and %opra^a> ('I satisfied'). As was mentioned in the vocabulary section, these words connect the stories concerning the feedings of the crowds (6:30-40; 8:1-9), the Greek Syrophoenician woman (7:24-30), and the disciples' understanding in relation to the feeding of the crowds (8:13-21). There is a leitmotif of residual superabundance that manifests itself in all of these stories: even after some are satisfied, there remains enough to satisfy others by the saving power of 'bread' (which symbolizes the power of God) (Burkill 1972, 82-87).59 There may also be an implicit reference in this story to the Jewish law that the remnants are to be left for the widow, the orphan, and the alien to eat (Lv 19:9-10; Dt 24:19; cf. Ru 2) (Pokorny 1995,329). viii) Gender. In discussing gender in the Gospel of Mark, many interpreters comment on how unusual the woman's actions are within a first century context. In general, women were considered subservient to men and were encouraged not to venture much beyond domestic boundaries. Several interpreters have undertaken to explore the pericope from the angle of gender and have provided more detailed analyses about its role within the story, as well as within Mark as a whole.60 Even though there are more male characters than female characters in Mark (Munro 1982, 226), the female characters do provide important criteria for followership, particularly in their willingness to serve, to be least, and to give of their lives (Malbon 1983, 34-37 35; Rhoads 1994, 368). The Greek Syrophoenician woman resists the cultural norms in what she does: she approaches Jesus in a private house herself (rather than sending a male intermediary); she talks to him first; she challenges his words and as a result changes his mind. Although Rhoads (1994) says gender is not an essential issue in Mk 7:24-30, he believes that the woman's gender does make what happens remarkable, "it changes everything" (367). I find Rhoads' comments confusing. Gender may not be essential, in that the healing does not centre on her female uncleanliness (as with the hemorrhaging woman), but her gender, as he puts it, "changes everything." Her gender is instrumental in showing how bold this woman is and how Jesus is willing to put the least first. To have a woman find Jesus, approach him in a private house, challenge his words, and get him to change his mind because of what she says, results in the conclusion for Rhoads that the Greek Syrophoenician woman is the "woman who paves the way for the whole mission to the Gentiles" (367). Although gender may not be essential to Mk 7:24-30, it is significant. As far as gender portrayal in Mark is concerned, the narrator usually provides more character development for his male characters than his female characters (more 'mimetic development,' attempting to have them appear like people in real life). To have female exceptions to this trend is notable. The stories of the hemorrhaging woman and the Greek Syrophoenician woman are such exceptions (Dewey 1997, 56). As well as their mimetic development of female characters, each story has a feature not found in any of the male healing narratives: "The story of the woman with the hemorrhage is the only healing in which inside views of the minor characters are given . . . [while the Greek Syrophoenician] woman's word gets Jesus to change his mind" (56). This unique aspect of the Greek Syrophoenician woman's story results in Jesus altering his intended course of action; "in this story, the mimetic emphasis is not so much on Jesus' healing act as in most healing narratives, as on the woman's speech, making her rather than Jesus the central character of the episode" (56). I agree with Dewey that 38 the emphasis is on the dialogue and, more specifically, the impact of the woman's speech (making her the central character in the episode).61 This rationale suggests a need to focus on the Greek Syrophoenician woman's characterization in Mk 7:24-30. (2) Minor themes. The minor themes in this particular story are: reciprocal visitation, Jesus' withdrawal, house as private setting, Jesus' identity, Jesus' power and authority, the suppliants as foils for the disciples, and followership.62 The minor themes provide several relevant points. The setting in Tyre, in a house, shows not only that Jesus has withdrawn, but the house reminds the reader of its use as a place of private instruction (Malbon 1983, 40); the woman and Jesus both end up receiving instructions from each other (Guelich 1989, 388). In addition, Jesus' identity, authority, and power influence the scene, and the woman comes to him as a healer (recognizing that his authority and power from God can heal her daughter, even from a distance). Furthermore, the woman shows herself, in her bold and active faith and in her understanding of Jesus' metaphor, as a suitable foil to the disciples; the disciples often show their fear of Jesus' acts of power and their lack of understanding of Jesus' teachings and ability to feed them even with one loaf (4:13, 35-41; 6:50-52; 7:18) (Williams 1994, 125; Rhoads 1994, 346). As a foil for the disciples, the woman provides a positive example of what it means to be a follower (Malbon 1983, 35, 43).63 b) Characterization within Mk 7:24-30 In the area of characterization, most interpreters do not make an extensive evaluation of the characters in Mk 7:24-30. The main characters in the passage are Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman. There are other less central characters mentioned, such as the daughter of the Greek Syrophoenician woman, the demon, and the metaphorical characters of the story within the story (the children and the dogs). The daughter and the demon are usually only briefly mentioned within the literature on this pericope. Daughters in that culture were not as greatly 39 valued as were sons, which makes it even more unusual that the mother in Mk 7:24-30 would have sought healing for her daughter (Ringe 1985, 70-71). The daughter is briefly compared to Jairus' daughter, since that is another occasion of a parent seeking Jesus' help for a sick child. In Mk 7:24-30, the daughter is described as having an unclean spirit, a demon; women "are virtually never possessed by demons in the gospel tradition, with two exceptions"~namely, the Lukan story of the seven demons being driven out of Mary Magdala and the story about the daughter of the Gentile woman (Kraemer 1992,134). The demon is successfully exorcized from the daughter and, as a result, the daughter is thrown onto the bed (7:30); "[pjrobably the cure had been attended by violent convulsions, as in other cases of the same kind in the Gospels" (Mk 1:26; 9:20, 26) (Gould 1961, 137; cf. The Companion Bible [1990], 1399). The demon, like other demons within the narrative, is seen as an unclean spirit over which Jesus has control. Although a number of interpreters comment on aspects of the characters of Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman, several have engaged in more in-depth evaluations of these two characters (Rhoads and Michie 1982, Downing 1992, Williams 1994, Rhoads 1994, and Dewey 1997). (1) The character of Jesus. The Markan narrator intentionally introduces the characters in an order and their placement within the plot serves a rhetorical purpose (Williams 1994, 81). This is clear in the narrator's first words, which establish Jesus as the central, heroic figure of Mark (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 103). The narrator shows him to be a reliable character, an authoritative communicator of the gospel of God, who demands repentance and faith (Williams 1994, 92). His words and actions exemplify the values of God, setting the standard by which to judge other characters' words and actions. He is the anointed one, the son of God, not a divine being but a human being, given authority by God to establish the new order of God on earth (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 104).64 Rhoads and Michie point out a very interesting trait: "[t]here is a mysterious quality about Jesus and his actions which overwhelms others and makes it 40 difficult for them to understand him" (107); in the story with the Greek Syrophoenician woman, however, she is able to decipher and understand what he says. Within his role, Jesus has authority over what is clean and unclean, and so is able to heal (through physical contact) a leper, a hemorrhaging woman, and a dead girl; later he even eats with a Gentile crowd in the desert (105-106). Jesus is described as a 'round' character, who has many varied traits: bold, authoritative, determined, and mysterious (105-107). "Jesus is a person of integrity who lives out the standards of his own teaching" (104). Since Jesus does not have control over people, he needs to make them understand with words and actions, and sometimes when he cannot, he gets frustrated, and can be harsh, impatient and angry (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 104).65 Interpreters often seek ways to downplay Jesus' harsh response to the Greek Syrophoenician woman (Downing 1992, 136). There are various interpretations to explain Jesus' response to the woman's request for help. Theissen (1991) classifies them into three different categories: biographical, paradigmatic (as a trial of faith), and salvation-historical (62-65). Could Jesus' mood on that day of his life explain his ill temper?66 Was Jesus offering the woman some obstacle to overcome in which she can exhibit her faith in him (as is the style in a rabbinic dialogue)?67 Is there salvation-historical symbolism, in which Jesus goes from being unwilling to minister to Gentiles, to opening up a mission to the Gentiles? Theissen, however, thinks that none of these three approaches is persuasive: The difficulty remains: How can one refuse a request for the healing of a child by saying that children are to be preferred to dogs? How can we avoid being caught in the contradiction that children are given a higher value within the image presented, but in reality a suffering child is being denied help? . . . Jesus' cynical response can more readily be understood if we keep in mind the historical situation of the region in which the story is located. Jesus' rejection of the woman expresses a bitterness that had built up within the relationships between Jews and Gentiles in the border regions between Tyre and Galilee. The first tellers and hearers of this story would have been familiar with the situation in this region, so that, on the basis of that familiarity, they would have felt Jesus' sharp rejection of the woman seeking his help to be 'true to life.' (65) Jesus' response accurately reflects the Jewish attitude to Gentiles at that time (Mann 1986, 319). 41 Although he begins by denying the woman assistance, the whole point of the passage is the change in Jesus' behaviour (Bultmann 1963, 38). He responds not only by healing the woman's daughter, but by expanding the scope of his ministry to include all Gentiles (Rhoads 1994, 361). This is counter-cultural on Jesus' part (Dewey 1993, 189). As a result of the faith of the Greek Syrophoenician woman, Jesus discovers "that his authority extends beyond Israel, and that [GJentiles too will receive bread before the children of Israel are fully satisfied" (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 104). Jesus serves God first, then, under God's authority, he serves his neighbour as himself (109). (2) The character of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. Although Jesus is the leading character in the Markan narrative, the woman is clearly the protagonist in this scene (Ringe 1985, 70; Downing 1992, 133; Dewey 1997, 56). Of the many minor characters in the Markan gospel, the Greek Syrophoenician woman is one of the remarkable ones. The most in-depth analyses of this character are provided by Rhoads (1994, 359-361) and Williams (1994, 118-121), with good overviews also by Ringe (1985, 65, 70-71) and Downing (1992, 133-141). Interpreters focus on her foreignness (being both Greek and Syrophoenician), her faith, her being a woman, her wit/intelligence/understanding, and her bold acts as a woman in the first century.68 Downing (1992) notes that "interpreters do realize that it is a female person who approaches Jesus, but most find it quite unremarkable, and prefer to stress her foreignness. In the story it is her femaleness that is emphasized. Her religio-cultural and ethnic otherness are important other factors" (133). I believe that her gender and her religio-cultural and ethnic otherness are all remarkable. I would not agree that her being a woman is emphasized above her being foreign. The narrator certainly describes her as 'woman' more often, but this is because, without a name, it is a way to identify her. Describing her as 'Greek' and 'Syrophoenician' is done only once, and it is the only time in Mark anyone is described this way. The rarity of these designations adds impact when they are used in Mk 7:24-30. 42 There is some controversy over whether the woman's faith or her wit is central to the story. I think it is too simplistic to say that it is either her faith or her wit that gets her request granted; both contribute. Faith is necessary for healing, but in the case of Mk 7:24-30, it is the woman's speaking out, and her intelligence and wit, that cause Jesus to change his mind and heal her daughter. I shall discuss this in greater depth in chapter 3. Downing (1992) suggests that, due to the woman's intelligence and wit, she is a female philosopher, and even hypothesizes that she is a female Cynic (145-146). As Cynics did, she accepts being called a dog; as philosophers did, she comes back with a winning retort in public (144-145). It is clear that these traits make her an uncommon female figure for her time period, because she is willing not only to accept Jesus' insult (calling her a dog), but then—like a woman philosopher-to engage in a debate with this teacher/healer and win it through her witty repartee. She shares the traits of many of the minor characters in Mark—a childlike persistent faith, a disregard for power or status, and a capacity for sacrificial service—and thereby exemplifies the values of the rule of God (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 129; Rhoads 1982, 419). Rhoads (1994) classifies the Greek Syrophoenician woman as one of the 'stock' characters, a 'suppliant with faith' (361). In defining a 'stock' character, Rhoads says he or she basically has one consistent trait, making the character very predictable; for a 'suppliant with faith,' the major trait is faith (359). Yet Rhoads seems to contradict himself when he says that the Greek Syrophoenician character "is remarkably developed.. . . She is a rather complex stock character!" (361). This kind of character classification system does not satisfactorily address the subtleties and the many qualities of her character that have been recognized by interpreters.69 Another classification system is needed to address these nuances in the Markan minor characters. As well as the woman's traits and character classification, a few interpreters discuss techniques the narrator uses in the woman's characterization; these include two-step progression (Rhoads 1994, 353), irony (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 102; Camery-Hoggatt 1992, 149-151), and 43 the use of direct speech (Mally 1968, 37; Downing 1992, 129, 134; Pokorny 1995, 328; Dewey 1997, 56-57). The narrator's stylistic device of two-step progression has begun to be analyzed and should be further explored. Two-step progression is the most pervasive stylistic feature in Mark, in which "[it] is no mere repetition, for the second part adds precision and clarifies the first part" (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 47). The second step also usually contains a crucial element (Rhoads 1994, 353). Rhoads discusses this device's appearance in Mk 7:26, where the narrator describes the woman as 'Greek, Syrophoenician by birth' (352). Rhoads concludes that "the narrative leads the hearer to notice that the supplicant was not only Greek-speaking, but more specifically a Gentile by birth and by race - unquestionably not a Jew, but an outsider" (1994, 353). Despite this fact, this woman is generally referred to in the literature as 'the Syrophoenician woman,' thereby glossing over one of two major descriptors of her character. Certainly the two-step progression emphasizes her otherness to Jesus, but is there any specific reason why the narrator describes her as Greek and Syrophoenician? Theissen (1991) understands the two steps to mean that a Hellenist was able to communicate with Jesus because she was bilingual; not only could she speak Greek, but as a native Syrophoenician she also speaks Aramaic (just as Jesus did) (69). Theissen offers one possible explanation for the second step. Who were the Syrophoenicians? As I asked earlier, what was their relationship to the Jews? Did they have any specific connection to dogs? These questions prompt further exploration as to how these descriptions might be connected to the contents of the story. Irony is a common compositional technique in Mark (Tannehill 1979, 88; Rhoads and Michie 1982, 1, 59).70 Irony is found in Mk 7:24-30 in three ways: dramatic irony, verbal irony, and characterization irony. First, there is dramatic (or situational) irony when Jesus originally rejects the woman, and then he goes into an extended Gentile mission.71 Second, there is verbal irony with Jesus' metaphor. The construction of the saying involves wordplay: 'children' being the Jewish term, and 'dogs' being "the Jewish epithet for Gentiles." It is "a riddle to be solved, a 44 witticism requiring a wittier response" (Camery-Hoggatt 1992, 151). This verbal irony involves "a discrepancy between what is said and what is really meant" (Baldick 1990, 114). The reader discovers that, although the initial impression is that to be a 'dog' is a negative, lowly thing, an outcast of the household, this impression can be altered depending on how one draws the picture. The woman shows how 'the dogs outside' become 'the dogs inside' in the household of God. Third, the characterization irony comes when the woman (whom the reader is encouraged to reject) is shown to best Jesus in a debate and get her request satisfied; this characterization irony is implicitly recognized by interpreters but is not explicitly labeled as such in the literature on this passage. The least become first, and the outsiders can become insiders depending on their response to Jesus' words. The narrator's use of speech representation in this story is notable.73 Both the instances of indirect and direct speech are unique within Mark. The first dialogue between Jesus and the woman is not direct, but indirect; the narrator describes that the woman begs Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter (Mk 7:26). Even in this indirect form, the narrator has this woman speaking first to Jesus, before he even addresses her. Downing (1992) points out that "it is in fact difficult in antiquity (even in the Christian tradition it is difficult) to find other stories where a woman approaches a strange man and opens a conversation with him, rather than waiting to be spoken to. There's no other in Mark" (133-134).74 He lists other passages from the Hebrew Bible when women speak first to men, but only when in extreme need, when there is no male representative to speak for them (2 Sm 14:4; 2 Kgs 4:2); as he says, "it remains uncommon, unexpected" (Downing 1992, 134). Downing points out that there are "very few instances indeed where a woman wins an argument with a man (or, for that matter, where a teacher loses a debate to any but a fellow teacher)" (129). Theissen (1991) addresses the unusual skill with which the woman in Mk 7:24-30 wins that debate: "[t]he Syrophoenician woman accomplishes something that for us today seems at least as marvelous as the miracle itself: she takes a cynical 45 image and 'restructures' it in such a way that it permits a new view of the situation and breaks through walls that divide people, walls that are strengthened by prejudice" (79-80). She accomplishes this restructuring by doing two things. She takes the positive image of the children from Jesus' own remark in Mk 7:27 and 'plays off the positive aspect against the need of her own child: "[i]n formal terms, she plays off the image against the content" (80). The second thing she does is give positive value to the negative word 'dog.' She pictures the dogs not at a distance, but under the table, thereby including them within the household. They are therefore subject to the will of their master, not eating anything that would be considered a loss to the children. In my initial review of the literature in 1995, no one had mentioned that this story is the only place in the Gospel of Mark that a woman's dialogue with Jesus is directly quoted by the narrator. A recent article by Dewey (1997) recognizes the importance of direct speech within narrative, and mentions the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman as an example of the significance of direct speech in the narrator's attempt to influence the reader (54). Dewey does recognize that this woman is the only one who has direct speech within the healing narratives, but she does not provide details of all the individual instances of women's speech representations in Mark. Dewey does provide an overall evaluation of the Synoptic Gospels: women are often seen but not heard (1997, 53, 56). The Greek Syrophoenician woman is an anomaly, since she is seen where she should not be and heard and understood in a way few women are in either the Hebrew Scriptures or in the Synoptic Gospels. The role of speech representation, therefore, is an important rhetorical device to examine. 46 III. Conclusion A. Summary of the Field A review of the exegetical literature on Mk 7:24-30 offers information found through a variety of methods: textual, source, redaction, and form criticisms; historical, feminist, and social criticisms; and literary, structural, narrative, and reader-response criticisms. Most interpreters agree that Mk 7:24-30 is a unitary composition, with no traces of later redactional activity. It is unclear, however, whether the story is based on an event that occurred during Jesus' lifetime or during the early Christian Church's struggle with Jew-Gentile relations within the Church. Certain features in the pericope suggest that, due to its counter-cultural content, the story would not have been included in Mark unless it was founded on some historical incident. Jesus' saying and the story as a whole have been classified in various ways in form criticism, indicating perhaps that elements from more than one form are inherent within the pericope. Although the healing is the context for the scene, the controversy dialogue between Jesus and the woman is its central focus. Jesus' metaphor in that dialogue has vocabulary that must be deciphered. Its Hebrew Scriptural images represent the children as the descendants of the house of Israel (the Jews); they have the bread first (access to God's life-giving power), before the dogs (the lowly scavengers, a term often used to refer to the Gentiles). Within this metaphor, there is an inherent status difference between the children and the dogs. This differentiation appears not only because the woman crosses the boundaries between Jews and Gentiles, but also because she crosses the boundaries between men and women. She acts against the cultural norms for women's behaviour for the first century by doing the following: approaching Jesus without a male intermediary, speaking to Jesus first, responding after his initial rejection, besting him in an argument, and changing his mind. Being Tyrian, the first-century reader might connect Jesus' metaphor with the real-life situation in which the Tyrians took advantage of the Galilean peasants who produced their food; Jesus' metaphor 47 becomes more poignant, therefore, because it presents the Galilean Jews getting the food before the Tyrian Gentiles. Subsequently, due to the words and actions of the Gentile woman within the scene, Jesus accepts the Gentiles' access to God's life-sustaining power. This shift makes Mk 7:24-30 crucial within the development of Jew-Gentile relations and the Gentile mission within the Markan narrative. Mk 7:24-30 is part of the larger section of Mark 4-8. Various themes and intratextual analogues help to place this pericope within this section, as well as within the Gospel of Mark as a whole. The major themes include: healing, faith, Gentile mission and Gentile portrayal, conflict, clean/unclean, insider/outsider, eating and food, and gender. The minor themes include: reciprocal visitation, house as private setting, Jesus' withdrawal, Jesus' identity, Jesus' power and authority, the suppliants as foils for the disciples, and followership. The major themes show that Mk 7:24-30 fits as a Markan type-scene of healing (with some variations). These variations are put there by the narrator to get the reader questioning what this scene is about, alerting him/her to the fact that the conflict within it is what makes the scene significant. Faith is necessary for the healing, and by her actions and words, the Greek Syrophoenician woman becomes a female model of faith within Mark. A whole range of opinions exists about Gentile mission within Mark; the discussion lacks contextual controls at this point. The Gentile woman in Mk 7:24-30 may initially be seen as an unclean outsider by Jesus, but she is ultimately shown to be a clean insider. As well as the themes within Mark, analogues are another way that the narrator gets the reader to compare this pericope with other stories, thereby highlighting certain aspects of it. The intratextual analogues that are often compared to Mk 7:24-30 are the healings of Jairus' daughter (Mk 5:21-24, 35-43), the hemorrhaging woman (Mk 5:25-34), and the deaf mute (Mk 7:31-37). These healing stories share some of the basic patterns of suppliants' actions towards a healer; the hemorrhaging woman and the Greek Syrophoenician woman are remarkable since they both step 48 outside accepted social boundaries to gain healing from Jesus. The intertextual analogues to Mk 7:24-30 are the Hebrew Scriptural story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 17:8-24), and the Synoptic Gospel story of the healing of the centurion's servant (Mt 8:5-13 and Lk 7:1-10). The widow and the Markan woman both accept that the Jews are fed first, so that their Gentile children and themselves can be assisted by a Jewish prophet afterwards. The centurion and the Markan woman both act as intermediaries for other Gentiles; in both instances, distance healing is the mode of healing in the scene. The parallel to Mk 7:24-30 is Mt 15:21-28. The Matthean version has a different description of the woman (Canaanite), a different way for the woman to refer to Jesus (Lord, son of David), and a different way for Jesus to acknowledge the woman's faith (explicitly in Matthew as opposed to implicitly in Mark). The saying of Jesus in both stories shares some common wording, but also includes other phrases that make it clear Mark includes the Gentiles from the beginning (while Matthew does not). The main characters in Mk 7:24-30 are Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman. While Jesus' characterization has been examined in detail, the Greek Syrophoenician woman's characterization is just beginning to be examined in more depth. Jesus' response to the woman creates a harsh image of Jesus. This reliable central character has a caustic side, and interpreters often try to downplay it. There are three types of explanations for Jesus' harsh response: biographical, paradigmatic as a trial of faith, and salvation-historical. None of these three types of explanations seems feasible. The narrator's portrayal of Jesus' initial reaction to the woman is more likely based on socio-historical context. Jesus' reaction shifts, however, due to her words and actions. The Greek Syrophoenician woman is usually thought to be a representative of the Gentiles (without much investigation into the subtleties within the narrator's description of her). Interpreters often focus on her foreignness, her faith, her intelligence, and her bold actions (as a woman in the first century). Both her faith and her witty philosophizing are necessary to cause Jesus to change his mind and heal the woman's daughter. The narrator uses various stylistic 49 devices in the woman's characterization, such as two-step progression, irony, and the use of direct speech. The methods that have been applied in exegeses of Mk 7:24-30 have illuminated many aspects of the text. Consensus is not always reached about the passage, except to say that it addresses Jew-Gentile relations and that the woman's actions and words are unusual, particularly from within the first century. The four areas in the field of exegesis of Mk 7:24-30 that would benefit from further investigation are: the significant vocabulary in the story; the type-scenes used in the story; the cultural relations between Jesus and the woman (including Jew-Gentile relations and male-female relations); and the characterization of the woman in the story.75 Since it is not possible to examine these four areas in-depth within this thesis, I shall focus on the fourth: the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman, the protagonist in the scene. B. Hypothesis and Choice of Method 1. Hypothesis Analyzing the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman is integral in an exegesis of Mk 7:24-30, since her character is pivotal in expanding Jesus' activities among the Gentiles. This analysis unlocks nuances within the story that have yet to be fully explored by interpreters of this pericope. The narrator's use of speech representation in the scene, in particular, merits attention, since this woman is the only female character whom the Markan narrator directly quotes in a dialogue with Jesus. 2. Choice of method Since the characterization of the woman in Mk 7:24-30 is the focus of my exegesis of Mk 7:24-30, narrative criticism will prove useful for my central method. Narrative criticism 50 benefits from the application of historical and cultural knowledge in reconstructing the Markan story world, so my method shall be informed by social, feminist, and historical discussions. I shall support my ideas from existing works in the field of New Testament studies, and draw from other fields when answers cannot be found in New Testament studies. Rather than trying to pronounce a last word about this passage, I aim to create a coherent and informed interpretation of Mk 7:24-30, based on my encounter with the text. 51 NOTES Chapter 1 'My review of the literature arranges interpreters' comments according to the method used. This is done in an effort to contextualize their comments and to acknowledge the influence method has on interpretation. \ All the English translations in this thesis of Mk 7:24-30 come from my translation (see Appendix A). For the English translations for the other parts of Mark, I basically agree with the translation found in the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) (Metzger and Murphy, 1991); where I have disagreed with their translation, I have made the appropriate changes and indicate that it is my translation. The 'mirror' and 'window' metaphors originate with literary critic Krieger (1964), whose notion of contextualism was to see the meaning both 'in' and 'through' the text (39); for further discussion of the use of these metaphors in narrative criticism, see Petersen (1978, 19, 24-25) and Donahue (1995, 3-4, 8). 4Aland et al. (1983) provide a reliable Greek text of Mk 7:24-30 (150-51). Taylor (1966) and Metzger (1971) also supply helpful discussions of the Greek text of Mk 7:24-30. 5Metzger's (1971) committee expressed some doubt about including Kvpie, but did decide to include it in their Greek text of Mark (95). This is the only occurrence of Kvpie in the vocative address in most Markan manuscripts; some manuscripts include it in 1:40 and 10:51 (Mann 1986, 321; Lane 1974, 259). 6Other interpreters are undecided about the story's historicity within Jesus' lifetime, but do state that the story at least existed within the traditions of the Jesus movement (Hooker 1991, 181; Schiissler Fiorenza in Kraemer 1992, 132). 7Bultmann (1963) goes further, suggesting that the whole sentence, A(f>sg npaxovxopxaa&rivai za rsKva ('Permit the children to be satisfied first'), is possibly a later addition to Mark's text (my translation, 38). The phrase in question, however, seems pertinent to the flow of the overall narrative and is therefore likely to have been part of Mark's original text; this shall become clear in my analysis of the text in chapter 3. The saying might be a chreia (an anecdote based on a concise statement or action attributed to a specific person, applied to its usefulness for living); this form originates from Greco-Roman literature (Beavis 1988, 5). Downing (1992) suggests that there is a spectrum of chreia, with "verbal chreia" at one end, "tacit action chreia" at the other end, and "mixed word-and-deed chreia" in between; he sees Mk 7:24-30 as a mixed word-and-deed chreia (132-133). The saying could also be an apophthegm (a saying set in a brief context), also originating from Greek literature (Bultmann 1963, 11, 38). The apophthegm is not tied to a particular place and time so the setting is seen as a later addition by the writer of Mark (Bultmann 1963, 63-64). 9As far as forms of the story itself, Mack defines this pericope as a pronouncement story: Jesus is in a setting, in conversation with others, where he is "answering questions, addressing issues, parrying criticisms, and offering instruction" (Mack 1988, 172). In 1981, Robert 52 Chapter 1 Tannehill and a working group from the Society of Biblical Literature also assigned Mk 7:24-30 the classification of a pronouncement story (in Mack 1988, 381). Although they adopted Taylor's category of pronouncement story, Taylor (1966) himself thinks that the pericope is more akin to the 'stories about Jesus' (81). Scholars who classify this passage as a 'miracle story' include Wrede (1971, 17) and Achtemeier (in Kee 1977, 32; in Selvidge 1990, 28). Theissen includes the story of the Greek Syrophoenician woman among the healing stories (in Downing 1992, 132, 147). Bultmann (1963) places the emphasis on the controversy of the dialogue between Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman, and designates this pericope as a controversy dialogue (41). Classification may be helpful in forming an hypothesis of the story's 'Sitz im Leben' (their seat—or situation—in life); the form of the story may have been adopted or developed to address the needs of the early Christian community. Their discussion is useful to my analysis because it focuses attention on the dialogue, which is set in a healing context. 10When I mention the first century in this paper, I am referring to the first century C.E. When there is a need to distinguish between the period 'before the common era' (B.C.E.) and the 'common era' (C.E.), I shall include these two designations. 1 'A number of interpreters of Mk 7:24-30 use a feminist approach: Munro (1982, 1992); Schussler Fiorenza (1983, 1984); Malbon (1983); Ringe (1985); Grassi (1988); Beavis (1988); Tufariua (1990); Dewey (1993, 1997); and Kraemer (1992). 12 Gundry-Volf (1995) quotes from Ecclesiasticus (Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach) about how men should not meet strange women (509). This text was written c. 180 B.C.E. and was included among other Hebrew religious writings until 90 C.E., when the final section of the Hebrew Biblical canon was decided upon ('The Writings'); Ecclesiasticus was not included in this canon (Gottwald 1985, 454, 109). The text would, however, have been in use during Jesus' lifetime (c. 6 B.C.E. - 30 C.E.) and would probably be regarded as one of several books on wisdom. Tufariua (1990) refers to the rabbinical Jewish prayer in which men thanked God for not making them women but fails to acknowledge the source of this prayer. This Jewish prayer is from Tosefta Berakot 7.18; pBerakot 9.2 (Osiek and Balch 1997, 56). Of the chreiai in Greek and Roman literature, only three are catalogued that involve women and these pertain to matters such as facing the deaths of sons and husbands (Beavis 1988, 5-6). 13 'Intratextual' refers to a comparison of two or more stories that appear in the same text or piece of literature (in this case, comparing stories that appear in the Gospel of Mark); 'intertextual' refers to a comparison of two or more stories that appear in different texts or pieces of literature (Malbon 1993, 213). The intertextual comparison is presumably intentional though not necessarily explicit on the part of the narrator (Donahue 1995). Literary critics use various words to describe the process of comparing texts (Williams 1994, 38; Baldick 1990, 9). I have chosen the word 'analogue' to indicate that there is some correspondence or similarity between specific stories and also that the narrator has intentionally directed the reader to another text or story so that the reader may draw inferences from it and apply them in understanding the main text (Baldick 1990, 9). I shall use 'analogy' to refer to a similar idea or aspect between stories, such as vocabulary that links stories. A 'parallel' is when the same story appears in more than one text; the versions usually differ to some degree. 53 Chapter 1 In 1970, Achtemeier suggested that the writer of Mark used two existing sets of miracle stories as a source in writing his gospel (in Mack 1988, 216-219; Kee 1977, 32-33; Selvidge 1990, 28). The miracle chains each consisted of five stories, the first being a sea-crossing miracle and the last being an account of feeding of the multitudes; the first chain encompassed Mk 4:35-6:44 and the second Mk 6:45-8:10 (Mack 1988, 216 fig. 12). Selvidge (1990) supports Achtemeier in her analysis of the story of the hemorrhaging woman (Mk 5:24-34). She believes Achtemeier's hypothesis links the stories of the hemorrhaging woman and the Greek Syrophoenician woman, and that, he "admits the possibility of having these two miracle stories read at an Eucharistic setting" (28). Whether there were pre-existing miracle catenae is impossible to prove without further evidence, which is not available at this time. What is available, however, is the text of Mark itself and how the writer uses the miracles and references to bread and feeding to convey a message. Burkill's (1972) structure has two parallel cycles between 6:31-7:37 and 8:1-26 (48). He fits Mk 7:24-30 into Mark's larger "theologico-literary scheme" by mentioning the five principal motifs that appear in the pericope as well as elsewhere in Mark: defilement, residual superabundance, bread of life, reciprocal visitation, and Jesus as Lord (71). Grassi (1988) divides the gospel into three acts. Rather than concentrating on the themes within the work, he concentrates on the notable women that appear in each of the acts. The Greek Syrophoenician woman's story falls into Act II (3:7-12:44), along with the raising of the daughter of Jairus, and the woman with the incurable hemorrhage. Grassi discusses how, although the men disciples have outer activities of discipleship, the women disciples have the inner understanding. Malbon's article (1993) "Echoes and Foreshadowing in Mark 4-8: Reading and Rereading" charts out the comparable components within this section; it contains sea incidents, feeding stories, and a group of healing stories. The echoes she hears within the healings include, in each group, a healing of a girl and a healing of both Gentile and Jew. The healing of a girl in the first group is Jairus' daughter, and then second the Greek Syrophoenician woman's daughter (221). In this way, she briefly links the Greek Syrophoenician woman's story with Jairus' daughter's healing. Williams (1994) also places Mk 7:24-30 within Mark 4.1-8:21; his interest is in the minor characters and how they relate within the various sections of Mark. Within this section, there are four passages that present minor characters: the deliverance of the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20), the intercalated stories of Jairus and the hemorrhaging woman (5:21-43), the deliverance of the Greek Syrophoenician woman's daughter (7:24-30), and the healing of the deaf man (7:31-37) (44). He draws on the structural analysis of the work of both Malbon and Petersen. Williams builds on Malbon's work, which juxtaposes these four into two pairs: an exorcism with intercalated healing stories in chapter 5, and an exorcism and a healing story in chapter 7 (thereby grouping together similar stories dealing with minor characters) (45). Another connection is made in that the first and last are set in relation to the Decapolis, leaving the middle stories together for comparison (which Williams shows are linked through similar characterization) (1994, 45-46). Mark 4-8 is built around the three boat scenes in which disciples respond to Jesus with a lack of courage, faith, or understanding (4:35-41; 6:45-52; 8:14-21) (104). The disciples' responses form a contrast to the courageous faith of the Syrophoenican woman and her understanding of Jesus' metaphor about the children/dogs/bread. I^nterpreters' Hebrew Scriptural references to the Jews as 'the children' include: Ex 4:22; Dt 14:1, 32:6; Is 1.2; Jer 31:9; Hos 1:10, 11:1 (Taylor 1966, 350; Mally 1968, 37; Burkill 1972, 109; Lane 1974, 261 n. 61; Derrett 1977, 147 n. 5). They also list New Testament 54 Chapter 1 references: Lk 15:31; Acts 3:25; Rom 9:4 (Taylor 1966, 350; Mally 1968, 37; Lane 1974, 261 n. 61; Derrett 1977, 147 n. 5). Derrett lists other intertextual references as well: 1 QM 17:3; Mislinah, 'Avot 3:14 (R. 'Aqiba) Shab. 14:4 (1977, 147 n. 5). Some of these references include the use of Greek words besides TSKVOC that also describe children (such as vioq, 'son'). In the Septuagint, TSKVOV represents eleven Hebrew words that describe children; although this Greek word does not distinguish sex, in the Septuagint it frequently is used in translation for the Hebrew ben ('son') (G. Braumann, "TSKVOV" in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology). 16The final term rb rtaidiovis a diminutive. If diminutives were used by the writer intentionally (although that is questionable), it is echoing the narrator's diminutive of 'little daughter' from the beginning of the story (Ovyarpiov, 7:25). It also draws together the picture of the diminutive of dog in the metaphor (Kvvapia) with the diminutive child, who has her need for healing satisfied just as the dog is satisfied from the crumbs from the children. As I shall discuss, it is debatable whether the diminutives in this story have any impact. Mark does not use the regular form of either naiq ('child') or KVCOV ('dog') in his narrative, so it is difficult to build an argument on this point. It is interesting, however, that the narrator himself includes the diminutive form of 9vyaxr)p—6vya-vpiov{J:2S). It is the first designation for the child, indicating immediately that the child is young and dependent, and is the woman's daughter. 1 interpreters' Hebrew Scriptural references to 'dogs' include: Ex 22:31; Dt 23:19; 1 Sm 17:43; 24:14; 2 Sm 9:8; 16:9; 2 Kgs 8:13; Prv 26:11; Sir 13:18 (Burkill 1972, 109; Guelich 1989, 386; Pokorny 1995, 324). The rabbinic references include the following: "Ps xxii 17(Targum); Midr. on Psalms, Ps. 22, para. 26 (gentiles), Is. lvi II (Targum)" (Derrett 1977, 147 n. 3); Rabbi Eliezer 'He who eats with an idolater is like unto one who eats with a dog' (Wellhausen in Taylor 1966, 350; Lane 1974, 261; Downing 1992, 137). R. Joshua ben Levi compares the righteous to the guests invited to the king's table, and the wicked heathen to the dogs who obtain the crumbs that fall from it (Lach in Downing 1992,127). TB Hagigah 13a is "As the sacred food was intended for men, but not for the dogs, the Torah was intended to be given to the Chosen People, but not to the Gentiles"(Lane 1974, 261). Ex Rabba IX.2 on 7:9: "The ungodly are like dogs" (Lane 1974, 261). The rabbinic references deserve further investigation to determine the weight they might carry in this comparison. The Talmud, or codified oral law, developed from ca. 250 B.C.E. to 550 C.E.; they were codified in the Halakah of the Mishnah in 180 C.E. in Hebrew, but even the Aramaic commentary on the Mishnah continued until c. 550 C.E.; the Haggadah found their way into the Mishnah in commentaries on biblical books, written from 150 to 1300 C.E. (Gottwald 1985, 91-92). Therefore, since these comments may have come into existence anywhere between 250 B.C.E. to 1300 C.E., it is necessary to research these references to ascertain the extent of their possible connection to Mk 7:24-30 (which was written c. 65-75 C.E.). The relationship between the rabbinic references to 'dogs' and the Markan reference to 'dogs' is an area for future research. 18 Dufton (1989) believes that Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman use the word Kuvapia "in different senses, arising from their different cultural backgrounds. Jesus' use of the word implies 'dogs outside,' while the woman means by the same word 'dogs inside'" (417). Greeks had a special fondness for dogs and were used to having them in the house (including under their tables) (Dufton 1989, 417). Whether this was the case is contested: Derrett (1977) 55 Chapter 1 states that "whether Jews had pet dogs, toy dogs in our sense is not known; and whether Greeks were more friendly to house-dogs that Jews were is also unknown" (151 n. 4). 1 9 Of the two examples of dogs at the table, one comes from the Jewish tradition and the other from the Greek. As mentioned above, R. Joshua ben Levi compares the righteous to the guests invited to the king's table, and the wicked heathen to the dogs who obtain the crumbs that fall from it (Lach in Downing 1992, 137). Philostatus quotes a critic of Damis (Apollonius' original biographer): "The critic allowed that Damis had recorded well enough specimens of his master's sayings and opinions. But collecting such trifles 'reminded one of dogs who pick up and eat the fragments which fall from a feast'" (Downing 1992, 139-140). 2 0 Of the many examples Downing (1992) provides in his text and in his Appendix 2,1 think these five quotes hold the most weight: 1. [Crates writes to his woman, Hipparchia:] Stand fast, live the Cynic life with us, for you are not by nature inferior to us [males]. Bitches are not by nature inferior to dogs. 2. Do not turn back, even if they call you dog. 3. Leucus, if you have any scraps of bread, give them to these dogs [the Cynics who have come to the feast]. 4. It is the custom to throw the remnants to the dogs, as Euripides said [again, the Cynics present are being discussed]. 5. ...our contemporary Cynics, "dogs round the table, round the gates" (140-141, 148). These five comments come from the following sources, respectively: pseudo-Diogenes 44; pseudo-Crates 29; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 6.270cd.; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 3.96f-97a; Epictetus, Dissertation 3.22.80 (Downing 1992, 140-141, 148). 21 Three examples make it is clear that the Cynics were not bothered when others called them dogs, but often came back with witty rejoinders: 1. When some boys clustered around him and said, "Watch out in case he bites us," he replied, "Don't be scared, dog don't eat beet [beef?]" (Diogenes Laertis, Lives of Eminent Philosophers [=DL] 6.45). 2. Asked what he did to be called a dog, he said, "It's by fawning on those who give, yapping at those who don't, and sinking my teeth into wrong uns [sic]" (DL 6.60). 3. When taxed for behaving like a dog, he would jokingly reply, "Well, dogs follow people along to festivals, without doing them any wrong. They bark and attack rogues and thieves, and when their masters are in a drunken stupor stay awake and guard them" (Dio of Prusa, Discourse 9.3; cf. 9.7) (Downing 1992, 147-149). 22 ^ It is also possible that Kvvapia is simply the expression for 'dog' in Koine Greek (Pokorny 324). Taylor (1966) suggests that the use of the diminutive in Greek softens the insult, so that rather than Jesus calling the woman a 'dog' (KVCOV), he is calling her a 'little puppy' (Kuvapid) (350). Many scholars do not agree that the diminutive softens the harshness of the insult (Burkill 1972, 109-110; Mann 1986, 321; Hooker 1991, 183, Derrett 1977, 151). Ringe (1985) sums it up well when she says, "Metaphor or not, Jesus is depicted as comparing the woman and her daughter to dogs! No churchly or scholarly gymnastics are able to get around that problem. To note that the Greek word is a diminutive, meaning 'puppies,' or 'little dogs,' does not soften the saying, for as Burkill points out, 'As in English, so in other languages, to call a woman 'a little bitch' is no less abusive than to call her 'a bitch' without qualification'" (68-56 Chapter 1 69); quote from T.A. Burkill, "The Story of the Phoenician Woman," Novum Testamentum 9 (1967): 173. 23 Derrett (1977) mentions that the idea of provisions going to the Jews first, and also to the Gentiles, exists in other New Testament passages as well, such as Rom 1:16, 2:9-10, and Act 3:26, 13:46 (1977, 166). The reference in Paul of Tarsus' letter to the Rom discusses who gets priority in ministry: "To the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Rom 1:16) (Harmon 1951, 755). This Pauline interscriptural reference subscribes to putting the Jews first and also includes the needs of the Greeks/Gentiles as well as the Jews; it does imply attending to the Jew's needs first. Another intertextual reference exists from the Hebrew Bible, namely, the story about Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (1 Kgs 17:8-24); this story may have influenced Jesus and the Markan narrator, so it shall be explored in the section on analogues. 24Although I am in agreement with Rhoads that the woman's saying influences Jesus, and that Mk 7:24-30 is pivotal within Jewish-Gentile relations in Mark, there was, however, an existing relationship between Jesus and Gentiles; that relationship needs to be further explored to properly establish the place of Mk 7:24-30 within the overall Markan narrative. I shall explore Jew-Gentile relations further in chapter 3. 25The first Markan story about bread is the Sabbath-day controversy, when Jesus' disciples are caught plucking heads of grain (from which bread is made) (Mk 2:23-28); Jesus defends them to the Pharisees by recalling that when David was in need he ate the bread of the Presence. The last reference to bread is at the Passover meal, the last supper, when Jesus takes the loaf and says, "Take, eat: this is my body" (Mk 14:22); for Drury, "all the other loaves lead to that" (1987, 416). 26 The disputes with the Jewish leaders, particularly the Pharisees, are found in the following Markan passages: 2:15-17, eating with sinners; 2:18, not fasting; 2:23-27, plucking grain; 7:1-8, eating unwashed; 8:15, the leaven of the Pharisees and Herodians (Malbon 1986, 122). "Mark stresses the woman's status as a Gentile by pointing out that she is Greek, presumably in language and culture, and Syrophoenician by race (7:26)" (Williams 1994, 118). The various sources that remark on Mark's emphasis on the Gentile character of the woman, include: commentaries on Mark by Cranfield, Guelich, Hurtada (in Williams 1994, 119 n. 2); Lane (1974, 260); and Williams (1994, 118). Downing agrees that "[t]he woman is quite clearly Greek in culture and religion as well as language . . .[and that] 'EAAnvig probably indicates social status, too; from a free citizen family" (1992, 138). Sugirtharajah's (1996) references about 'EAArjvigcome from Nineham ('EAArjvig refers to the woman's religious status) and Theissen ('EAArjvig refers to the woman being Greek-speaking and therefore of the Syrian upper class) (14). Downing, Rhoads, and Gundry-Volf rely on Theissen's evaluation (Downing 1992, 138; Rhoads 1994, 370; Gundry-Volf 1995, 516). 28Concerning the controversy about whether EAAnvig was the original term, the term might have been 'a pagan woman' or 'a widow' rather than 'Greek.' Vermes suggests that the original story was in Aramaic, which would have described the woman simply as arammitha ('pagan woman'); the Greek, rj 8e yvvrj fjvEAAr/vig, ZvpoyoiviKiooa TCO ysvsi, ('the woman was Greek, a Syrophoenician by race') represents "an exegetical paraphrase" when the work 57 Chapter 1 moved from Galilean Aramaic to Greek (in Burkill 1972, 72 n. 2). Couchard traces the reading of 'widow' to a Sinaitic Syriac version of the story; this term would link Mk 7:24-30 with the story of the Zarephath widow and the prophet Elijah in 1 Kgs 17:8-24 (in Derrett 1977, 146). Burkill (1972) thinks the reading of 'widow' may come through confusing arammitha ('pagan woman') with armalta ('widow'), as well as through the influence of the story of the widow of Zarephath, which also takes place near Sidon (72). Goppelt (1982) also refers to the Elijah story, but he thinks 'widow' is unlikely to have appeared in the Markan original (74); Guelich (1989) agrees with that (386). There does not seem adequate evidence at this time to conclude, as Vermes does, that the original was in Aramaic. It is possible that there was some confusion during the translation to the Syriac and that, as Burkill suggests, 'a pagan woman' became 'a widow.' The most interesting aspect in the controversy is the connection between the Markan story and the story about Elijah and the widow in 1 Kings. A comparison is made between these two stories in the following section on intertextual analogues. 29 Several interpreters recognize and comment on the distinction between the Syrian Phoenicians and the Carthaginian or Libyan Phoenicians (Taylor 1966, 349; Burkill 1972; Derrett 1977, 145). Lane (1974) concurs that Kvpw "probably should be translated 'sir,' recognizing a formula of deep respect" (259). Burkill (1972) champions the translation of 'Lord,' believing that the woman's recognition of Jesus as 'Son of God' anticipates the Roman centurion's later confession of 15:39 (89). Lane points out that "[t]his is unlikely since Mark never uses b Kvpiog of Jesus in narrative sections" (259). Sugirtharajah (1986) also does not think that it is a reference to 'Lord,' but a general comment that the woman makes to the healer; she seeks him out because of his reputation as a healer (15). With this in mind, Kvpw is understood as a term of respect ('sir'); I translate it as such in Appendix A. 31 Other major Phoenician centres were Arrad, Gebal, Sidon, and Tripolis (Odelain and Seguineau 1981, 306). 32 There were good relations between Tyre and Israel during the time of David and Solomon, who were friends with Hiram of Tyre (1 Sm 5:11; 1 Chr 14:1; 1 Kgs 5:15-16; 7:13-47; 9:10-14; cf. Am 1:9) (Odelain and Seguineau 1981, 376). 33 Hebrew Biblical references represent Tyre (often coupled with Sidon to the north) as "a Gentile people who had achieved a proud power and superior wealth by harshly oppressing their Jewish neighbours (Isa 23; Joel 3:4-8; Zech 9:2-4)" (Heil 1992, 160). 34Although Williams (1994) uses the word 'analogy,' I shall use the term analogue during the discussion of his findings because of its more specific inference to the intentional correspondence between stories (as I discussed in the preceding definitions of analogue and analogy, see n. 13). 35 Malbon (1983) also links the hemorrhaging woman and Syrophoenician woman since both benefit from Jesus' healing power because of their "bold and active faith" (35). 36 Although the widow of Zarephath is of the upper class, she is presumably without food when Elijah comes to her due to the drought brought on by God's disapproval of the idolatry in 58 Chapter 1 Israel (1 Kgs 17:1); the area of Syria depended on Israel for food, especially during periods of shortage. 37 The story of the healing of the centurion's servant was most likely written down in its present form in Matthew and in Luke after the Markan story of the woman, making it unlikely that the Markan narrator would intentionally be drawing an analogy between the story of the Greek Syrophoenician woman and the story of the centurion. Since many interpreters refer to this analogue, I include it in the review of the literature. It is the only other distance healing story in the New Testament gospels, so it serves as a contrast to highlight certain aspects of the distance healing of the woman's daughter. Scholars who compare the story of the Greek Syrophoenician woman and the story of the centurion's servant in Matthew and Luke include Taylor (1966, 348), Burkill (1972, 75), Mann (1986, 319), and Mack (1988, 221). 38 Gundry-Volf (1995) is examining only the Matthean version of the centurion's servant healing. It is interesting that in the Lukan version of that story the centurion is portrayed as having contributed to the Synagogue, therefore showing his support for the Jewish faith; he also does not approach Jesus directly but sends his Jewish friends to ask Jesus' assistance. In comparing the Lukan version with the Greek Syrophoenician woman's story, then, perhaps, her religious affiliation and her forwardness might also be further distinctions between her and the centurion. Jesus might be portrayed as more willing to help a Gentile who has previously shown his support for the Jewish faith, than to help a Gentile who has not, and who is bold in approaching a Jew. 39 • Many interpreters make comparisons between the story of Jesus and the Gentile woman as it appears in Mark and in Matthew. Those whose comparisons are the most thorough are Burkill (1972, 74-79), Ringe (1985, 66-68), Mann (1986, 319-321), and Dewey (1997, 56-57). Other comparisons between the Markan and Matthean versions of the Greek Syrophoenician woman's story are made by Hasler (1933-34, 459), Harmon (1951, 754), Goppelt (1982, 74), and Kraemer (1992, 132). Any discussion about the Markan and Matthean versions of this story is affected by which gospel the scholar believes was written first. Those who believe that Mark was the first gospel written, and that the writer of Matthew reworked the Markan version of the story, include Bultmann (1963, 38), Burkill (1972, vii), and Ringe (1985, 67). Those who argue that Matthew uses an earlier version of the story include Streeter and Farmer (in Burkill 1972, 74); Mann (1986) also thinks Matthew was the first gospel written, but thinks both Matthew and Mark drew from a common source for this story (319). Since a comparison of the two parallel texts is not within the scope of my thesis (which is, namely, an exegesis of Mk 7:24-30), I direct you to the above scholars' works for a thorough exploration of that comparison. 40Hasler (1933-34) states that Jesus' saying is almost word for word in both versions of the story, although the woman's reply is different (459). Certainly part of Jesus' saying is almost identical in Matthew as in Mark, but what Hasler fails to mention (but which Burkill picks up on) is that Jesus' saying in Mark begins with A(j)sg npapxovxopracrOrjvai ra TEKVO, ("Permit the children to be satisfied first") (7:26) (my translation, Burkill 1972, 75). In Matthew, however, Jesus begins with another saying that paints a different picture: OVK aneaxaXriv E\ prj sig ra npoBaxa rar anoXcoXora OIKOV ^ IopanX ("I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel") (15:24). The Matthean Jesus states that he was sent to the Jews exclusively (Harmon 1951,754; Mann 1986, 320). 59 Chapter 1 Mimesis, the Greek word for 'imitation', has been a central term in literary theory since Aristotle. Any aspect of a literary work that attempts to reproduce reality is considered to be mimetic (Baldick 1990, 137). In Dewey's article, she focuses on the mimetic development of characters to gauge the extent of their vividness in imitating real people. 42Although many scholars examine the thematic content within Mk 7:24-30, the two most thorough are Rhoads (1994) and Burkill (1972). Although Rhoads does not use the word 'theme' within his analysis (referring instead to 'plot lines' and 'settings'), he does seem to infer the concept of 'theme.' Rather than the term 'theme,' Burkill (1972) uses the term 'motifs' (71). I shall provide definitions for the terms 'theme', 'plot', 'plot line', 'motif,' and 'leitmotif in my chapter on method (chapter 2 n. 41). 43Rhoads and Michie (1982) identify conflict as an area within narrative criticism, alongside plot, character, setting, narrator, point of view, standards of judgment, implied author, ideal reader, and the style and rhetorical techniques used by the author to influence the reader (412). Although Rhoads (1994) uses conflict analysis as a technique through with to evaluate the text, I think it is also possible to categorize conflict as a theme within Mark. 44Those who deal with the healing theme in most detail are Munro (1982), Dewey (1993), and Rhoads (1994). 4 5 A type-scene is an episode with certain characters and interactions which is repeated throughout the narrative (Alter 1981, 50-51). Alter (1981) borrows the concept of the 'type-scene' from Walter Arend's (1933) work on Homer: Die typischen Szenen bei Homer (50). Rhoads (1994) thinks there are various type-scenes within Mark: healings, exorcisms, nature miracles, conflicts with authorities, call scenes, etc. (351). Of the healing scenes, Rhoads identifies Mk 7:24-30 as one of eleven scenes of "A Suppliant with Faith." 46Several interpreters mention the woman npoGeneaev (falling/bowing down) at Jesus' feet. They generally agree that it is a sign of respect to Jesus (Taylor 1966, 349; Mann 1986, 320). It is also seen by some as a sign of her grief and distress (Taylor 1966, 349; Mann 1986, 320) . Gundry-Volf (1995) interprets this body language as a sign that the woman is appealing to his mercy and also that she is worshipping Jesus in this way (519, 516-517). I interpret this more as a standard sign of the woman showing respect to Jesus as a healer and not as a divine figure; certainly in making such a gesture she may also be showing her great need. 4 7I have already mentioned the distance healing of the centurion's servant from the Synoptic Gospels (Mt 8:5-13 and Lk 7:1-10), as well as the healing of the Gentile Aramean commander, Naaman in the Hebrew Scriptures (2 Kgs 5). Concerning healing being done at a distance, Derrett (1977) notes that 'absence healing' (as he refers to it) is known in the woman's cultural environment, but does not specify how it is known (156); it would be interesting to establish its context within the woman's cultural environment, and in what way it resembles what happens in this story. This task lies outside the scope of this paper, but it is a possible topic for future research in this field. 48 It is possible, although the narrator does not explicitly mention a telepathic awareness, or extrasensory perception, of what is happening at a distance (Taylor 1966, 351; Mann 1986, 321) . The narrator provides an example early in the narrative of Jesus' ability to perceive what is happening in others' hearts/minds. When the scribes were questioning in their hearts how Jesus 60 Chapter 1 can forgive the sins of the paralytic (since they believe that God alone can forgive sins), "[a]t once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves" (2:8). It is also possible that in Mk 7:24-30, Jesus may simply believe that what he asks for will happen (like moving mountains) (11:23-24), which fits with the narrator's ideological point of view. Jesus does seem to have the power to read others' hearts/minds, and he also has made it clear that having faith can make things happen. Both provide a possible explanation for Mk 7:24-30; the former that Jesus knows it has already happened, and the latter as to why it has happened. 49Beavis (1988) describes as models of faith in Mark the hemorrhaging woman (who conquers her fear and is an example of faith, 5:25-34); the Greek Syrophoenician woman (who boldly comes to Jesus so that her daughter may be healed, 7:24-30); the poor widow (who gives her whole livelihood to the temple treasury, 12:41-44); and the woman at Bethany (who prophetically anoints Jesus for burial, meriting fame in the world, 14:3-9) (8). These examples of women are positive examples of faith; only in the case of the hemorrhaging woman is her faith directly referred to, in the other cases the women's faith is implied. 50Analyses that have already been done on conflict within Mark include Dewey (1973), Tannehill (1979), Malina (1988), Rhoads and Michie (1982), Malbon (1992), and Williams (1994). Those that analyzed conflict in Mk 7:24-30 include Bultmann (1963) and Rhoads (1994). 5'Malbon (1992) divides the Markan conflicts into four categories rather than three: conflict between the kingdom of God and other claims to power and authority; conflict between Jesus and the demons/unclean spirits; conflict between Jesus and the Jewish authorities about the authority and interpretation of law; and conflict between Jesus and the disciples about what it means to be the Messiah and his followers (33). Hooker (1991) does not seem to be aware of the symbolism that suggests Mk 7:24 - 8:9, 22-38 occurs on Gentile territory. Some of this symbolism was discussed in the section on vocabulary, concerning the term 'bread.' I shall mention symbolism again when discussing how to identify Gentile territory (during my analysis of Gentile portrayal in chapter 3). Those who think that Mk 7:24-30 indicates a Gentile mission opening up include Burkill (1972, 96), Schussler Fiorenza (1983, 138), Ringe (1985, 65), Guelich (1989, 387), Mann (1986, 89), Malbon (1992, 46), and Rhoads (1994, 348). Those scholars who oppose this belief, and think that the Gentile mission did not occur in Jesus' lifetime include Sugirtharajah (1986, 15) and Hooker (1991, 181). 54I believe that the disciples' inability to get to Bethsaida is not only linked with the Gerasene demoniac's healing, but is also due to their not understanding Jesus' power. He had just fed the five thousand (the Jews) (6:30-44) and walked on the water (6:47-50); the disciples are afraid, not understanding about Jesus walking on the water, nor his feeding the five thousand just prior to their attempt to go to Bethsaida. They obviously do not understand who Jesus is, or where his power comes from. Instead of landing in Bethsaida, they land in Jewish territory, in Gennesaret (6:51-53). 61 Chapter 1 Interpreters who comment on the connection between Mk 7:24-30 and the defilement section preceding it include Burkill (1972, 80-81), Kee (1977, 92), Hooker (1991, 181), Malbon (1993, 226), Guelich (1989, 388), and Rhoads (1994, 346, 348). 56The Jewish tradition is to avoid what is unclean by cleansing hands (up to the elbow) before eating and also by washing food and utensils (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 82). By washing, they symbolically and literally remove any contact they have had with Gentiles and any other unclean items, such as might have occurred at the marketplace, so that they can worship their God in a pure state. 57 Gould (1961) believes, however, that Jesus' dispute with the Pharisees about what is clean and unclean "marks a crisis in his life" since the Markan narrator's comment that Jesus is implying that all food is declared clean shows him against not only traditionalism but also the law (134); "it was no wonder that Jesus' fate hastened to an end" when he is suggesting a breach of the law itself which specifies what is clean and unclean (125). 58 The idea of the Markan narrator's point of view distinguishing between 'thinking the things of God' and 'thinking the things of men' comes from Norman Petersen (1978) ("Point of View in Mark's Narrative," Semeia 12:97-121) (in Malbon 1992, 30). 59Schiissler Fiorenza (1983) refers to it as the messianic abundance of the Christian table community: "The gracious goodness of the God of Jesus is abundant enough to satisfy not only the Jews but also the Gentiles" (138). Another discussion of food and eating in Mark is found in Neufeld's (1996) exploration of Mk 3:21; he outlines the various references to eating in Mark (including Mk 7:24-30) and places them within a socio-historical context. I shall discuss his findings in chapter 3. 60Several scholars examine the theme of gender in depth: Munro (1982), Malbon (1983), Kraemer (1992), Rhoads (1994), and Dewey (1997). 6'Although Dewey (1997) states that in the case of this woman's story its content is more remarkable than its mimesis (56), I would suggest that both are unusual and important, and that the mimetic development can give us clues to understand more fully the content of the story. 62 For more detailed discussions of these minor themes, refer to the following: reciprocal visitation (Burkill 1972, 87-88); Jesus' withdrawal (Malbon 1986 112; Burkill 1972, 67-68; Mann 1986, 320); house as private setting (Munro 1982, 227; Rhoads and Michie 1982, 67; Wrede 1971, 142; Burkill 1972, 73; Lane 1974, 260; Malbon 1983, 400); Jesus' identity (Burkill 1972, 66, 89-91; Sugirtharajah 1986, 15; Kee 1977; Malbon 1992, 39; Rhoads and Michie 1982, 105); Jesus' power and authority (Derrett 1977, 158-159); the suppliants as foils for the disciples (Malbon 1986,120-121; Rhoads and Michie 1982,122-124, 130, 132; Williams 1994, 32, 118, 125; Rhoads 1994, 346-347); and followership (Malbon 1983, 37; Malbon 1986). As mentioned, Malbon (1983) considers the Greek Syrophoenician woman as exemplifying followership because of the bold and active faith seen in her actions (35). Certainly, as Malbon says, faith, power, and service are necessary for followership; I would say that understanding is necessary as well. 62 Chapter 1 Although Rhoads and Michie (1982) see Jesus as a human being given authority by God, there are various views about who Jesus is: divine Lord, healer, and/or prophet. To support their view, Rhoads and Michie turn to the superscription at the beginning of the Markan narrative, which identifies Jesus as 'the anointed one, the son of God' (1:1) (105). This is the narrator's stylistic use of two-step progression, which is one of the Markan stylistic devices (48). This two-step progression is mirrored in the overall framework of the story: the first half of the narrative depicts Jesus as the anointed one (up to when Peter acknowledges Jesus as such, 8:29), and the second half depicts Jesus as the son of God (up to when the centurion identifies Jesus as such, 15:39) (48). 65Besides the Greek Syrophoenician woman, there are other Markan characters with whom Jesus is harsh, impatient, and angry: Jesus rejects his mother and siblings when they come to restrain him, thinking that he is crazy (3:21, 31-35); he criticizes the Pharisees and scribes, calling them hypocrites (7:6); he calls his own disciple "Satan" when Peter rebukes him for describing that the Son of Man will be rejected by the Jewish leaders and be killed and then be resurrected (8:31-33); he calls his disciples and the crowd around them "you faithless generation" when the disciples are unable to heal an epileptic child (9:19); he expresses his impatience and rebukes this child's father when the father wonders whether Jesus is able to help the boy (9:22-23); he even curses a fig tree that did not give him fruit, even though it was not the season for figs (11:13,14,21). 6 6 0f the biographical explanations, one is that Jesus' wish to be hid prepares the way for what follows, when he shows an unreadiness to help her (Gould 1961, 135). His churlishness certainly comes across in this scene (Hooker 1991, 182). It might be due to a tension in Jesus' mind concerning the scope of his ministry (Taylor 1966, 350). Another biographical way to understand his harsh saying is that he intends his reply to be understood ironically, since "he feels the irony of the situation that makes the Jew plume himself on his superiority to the Gentile" and that the woman "feels the sympathy veiled in [Jesus' words]" (Gould 1961, 133). Certainly irony is used in Mark (Camery-Hoggatt 1992), but this seems to me a simple answer to a complex portrayal of Jesus. The Markan narrator portrays Jesus as offending people who he feels are not responding to him as they should. It seems more significant to ask why he is offended by the woman and her behaviour and words, and also why the narrator has Jesus change his attitude during the course of the story. It is Harmon's suggestion (1951) that Jesus, by speaking to her the way he did, was offering the woman some obstacle to overcome so that she could exhibit her faith (753). It can also be interpreted that "Jesus, disappointed by his own flock, was rude to her to test her faith" (Derrett 1977, 144). I would agree that there is a comparison between the faith of the woman and that of his disciples, but I would not agree that Jesus' rudeness was a test. It seems to me more an expression of the relations between Jews and Gentiles in that time period. 68Those that comment on her foreignness include Williams (1994, 118), Ringe (1985, 70), and Downing (1992, 133, 138). Williams lists various sources that emphasize the Gentile character of the woman (1994, 119 n. 2). Those scholars mentioning the Greek Syrophoenician woman's faith include: Gould (1961, 133), Burkill (1972, 63), Rhoads and Michie (1982, 131), Grassi (1988, 11), Beavis (1988, 8), Kee (1977, 92), Heil (1992, 163), Rhoads (1994, 360), Williams (1994, 120 n. 2), and Gundry-Volf (1995, 520). Grassi thinks that Mark emphasizes the faith and humility of the woman "who trusted despite Jesus' apparent refusal"; her deep faith is a model for the gospel's 63 Chapter 1 audience (1988, 11). Several others are not so convinced that the woman's response points to her faith: Downing (1992, 138-139), Mann (1986, 321), Sugirtharajah (1986, 14). Those that explore her remarkableness from the angle of her gender include: Munro (1982), Schiissler Fiorenza (1982, 1984), Ringe (1985, 70-71), Beavis (1988), Dewey (1993, 189; 1997), and Rhoads (1994). For further exploration of her wit/intelligence/understanding, refer to the following: understanding (Williams 1994, 120 n. 2), wit (Gould 1961, 133; Ringe 1985, 65; Dewey 1993, 189; Mann 1986, 321; Downing 1992, 145; Rhoads 1994, 360-361); intelligence (Burkill 1972, 63; Dewey 1993, 189; Rhoads 1994, 360-361). Those that refer to the woman's insightfulness include the following: Ringe (1985, 65), Williams (1994, 120), and Rhoads (1994, 360-361). Sugirtharajah refers to her as ingenious (1986, 14), while Rhoads also describes her as clever (1994, 360-361). Scholars who comment on the Greek Syrophoenician woman's boldness include Malbon (1983, 37), Ringe (1985, 65), Mann (1986, 321), Downing (1992, 145), and Williams (1994, 120). Related traits include her gutsiness (Ringe 1985, 65), her risk-taking (Kopas 1985, 916), and her strength (Downing 1992, 145). It is clear that she is bold in both action and word (Malbon 1983, 37). For those describing the woman as humble, see Tufariua (1990, 49-50), Rhoads (1994, 361), and Williams (1994, 120 n. 2). Those describing the woman as persistent include: Derrett (1977, 153), Mann (1986, 321), Rhoads (1994, 361), Williams (1994, 120 n. 2). Persistence is an overt sign of faith (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 131). She also shows endurance in the face of an insult (Downing 1992, 145). 69The classification system that categorizes characters as 'round,' 'flat,' and 'stock' characters is based on Forster's (1974) system that first appeared in 1927 in English literary studies (xvii). This system shall be discussed in further detail in my chapter on method (chapter 2). As well as the more strict classification of characters, others have considered her a model for different things: a model for action (Heil 1992, 162); a model for faith (Beavis 1988, 8); as a model for Mark's secret heroine, who models an ideal disciple (Grassi 1988, 10-11); she is also seen as an example of 'the dregs of the dregs' (the marginalized whom Jesus helps) (Kraemer 1992, 133). Malbon (1994) describes her as one of many minor characters who act as 'exemplars' in the Markan gospel; the Greek Syrophoenician woman is an exemplar of a 'Bold and Faithful Woman' (69 n. 3). 70Irony can be defined as "a subtly humorous perception of inconsistency, in which an apparently straightforward statement or event is undermined by its context so as to give it a very different significance" (Baldick 1990, 114). 71 The dramatic irony is connected to the story being set in a series of affirmations of Gentile mission, yet Jesus initially refuses to help the Gentile woman. This provides dramatic irony in the narrative, since the reader anticipates a certain outcome (given Jesus' negative response to the woman), and yet that initial response is not what effects the final outcome. Jesus ends up moving into a Gentile mission as a result of encountering her. 72 Camery-Hoggatt (1992) describes Jesus' saying to the woman as ironic, "to be read as a bit of tongue-in-cheek" (150). This is a special kind of irony: "[p]eirastic irony—from 64 Chapter 1 neipaC,eiv~ is a form of verbal challenge intended to test the other's response. It may in fact declare the opposite of the speaker's actual intentions" (150). 73 In the literature on Mk 7:24-30, various terms are used to describe the narrator's representation of characters speaking in the text (direct discourse/speech, indirect discourse/speech). 'Discourse theory' is the term often used to describe this field of study. 'Discourse' is a term already in use in narrative criticism to describe the manner in which the narrator describes the events in the story world; this distinguishes 'discourse' from the 'story,' since the 'story' is understood as the events themselves in the story world. Since 'discourse' is already in use, I shall refer to how a narrator represents speech by the characters as 'speech representation.' I shall continue to use the terms direct speech and indirect speech in this chapter, but shall suggest more appropriate terms in the chapter on method (chapter 2). 7 4 "Among strangers the conventional etiquette holds [of a woman waiting to be spoken to by a strange man] as expressed in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35; 1 Timothy 2:11-12; Plutarch Coniugaliapraecepta3\ (142D)" (Downing 1992, 133-134). 75 In the area of vocabulary analysis, some key-words have been quite thoroughly examined within the literature on Mk 7:24-30. These words include the following: xEKva/nai5ia ('children'), apzog ('the bread'), %opTa£co ('I am satisfied'), and Kvpis ('Lord/Sir'). With other vocabulary, there have been mixed results. The three words, Kvvapia ('dogs'), npcozov('first'), and EXXnviq('Greek'), have only been examined to a certain extent. The terms Zvpo^oiviKioaa ('Syrophoenician') and ra opia Tvpov ('the region of Tyre') have been examined somewhat. The term Ao^o^Cword') has barely been examined at all within the context of the exegesis of Mk 7:24-30. There are two type-scenes in use in Mk 7:24-30: a healing type-scene and a controversy dialogue type-scene. Rhoads (1994) provides a useful analysis of the Markan type-scene of healing for suppliants in general (348-352). In the commentaries on Mk 7:24-30 that I reviewed, there are no references to any overall analyses of the Gentile healings unto themselves, nor any comparing the different examples of distance healings. Doing such an analysis may prove useful, and combined with the analyses of the healings involving women, insights can be gained about this particular healing of a Gentile female. Bultmann (1963) begins the process of analyzing Mk 7:24-30 as a controversy dialogue (39-54). Rhoads (1994) continues that process by analyzing it as a riddle (355-357). An examination of the controversy dialogues within Markan is needed. Bultmann provides the basic components for a controversy dialogue (39-54). How this form fits into the Markan examples of controversy dialogues might provide the basis for creating a controversy dialogue type-scene for Mark. The historicity of the story is another area that could benefit from further investigation; it has been discussed to quite a degree by both source and redaction critics, with a great variety of responses. It is quite possible that Mk 7:24-30 developed out of an oral tradition, but still the story's authenticity is under question. Although it is not within the scope of this thesis to further investigate the story's historicity within Jesus' life, the story is clearly congruent with the social and literary context of the larger Markan narrative, and further narrative analysis may more completely support Mk 7:24-30 as being congruent with what we know of Jesus' teachings and life. I shall leave that investigation to others. For discussions of the historicity of Mk 7:24-30, please refer to the following: those against the idea of its historicity include Bultmann (1963, 38-39) and Burkill (1972, 111, 960); those who entertain the idea of its historicity include Ringe 65 Chapter 1 (1985, 69) and Kraemer (1992, 132); and those who support its historicity include Dewey (1993, 189) and Downing (1992, 143). 66 CHAPTER 2 METHOD The work done in narrative criticism over the past twenty years shows the merit of applying it to the Gospel of Mark.1 Narrative criticism provides a process for analyzing the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. The autonomy of the Markan story world does not, however, reject the application of historical and cultural knowledge to help to reconstruct it, since such socio-historical research has indeed clarified and strengthened a modern reader's understanding of a first-century story world. Therefore, my method shall be informed by insights from social, historical, and feminist studies. I also use theories of speech representation from non-biblical literary criticism and linguistics. Since there is a need for more theoretical understanding when using narrative criticism (Moore 1989, 177-178), I have researched the sources from non-biblical literary criticism often used by New Testament narrative critics. There are two parts to this chapter. Part I supplies an overview of narrative criticism. After briefly discussing its basic areas, I shall discuss its approach to character and characterization. The relevant theorists shall be introduced, both from non-biblical and biblical fields. Part II describes my method for investigating Mk 7:24-30. I shall focus on the area of characterization and provide a detailed description of the specific steps that I shall employ in my examination of the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. In keeping with the need for 'methodological self-consciousness,' further discussion of narrative criticism can be 67 found in Appendix B (including its development as a biblical discipline, its assumptions, its strengths and weaknesses, as well as how it incorporates insights about a first-century story world that arise from historical, social, and feminist discussions); further discussion of characterization and speech representation theory can be found in Appendix C. I. Overview of Narrative Criticism A. Basic Areas of Narrative Criticism r Narrative criticism is the literary study of narrative. It investigates the formal features of narrative, including "aspects of the story-world of the narrative and the rhetorical techniques employed in the story" (Rhoads 1982, 411-412). Rhoads describes the basic areas of narrative criticism as plot, conflict, character, setting, narrator, point of view, standards of judgment, the implied author, the ideal reader, the style, and the rhetorical techniques used by the author to influence the reader (412).3 I would add to this list both theme and motif, which are mentioned by other narrative critics, and are even implied by Rhoads himself (Burkill 1972, 71; Rhoads 1994, 343). Rhoads explains how these features of narrative criticism show themselves in the Markan narrative: Analyses of the formal features of the Gospel of Mark have shown this narrative to be of remarkably whole cloth: the narrator maintains a unifying point of view; the standards of judgment are uniform; the plot is coherent; the characters are introduced and developed with consistency; stylistic patterns persist through the story; and there is a satisfying overall rhetorical effect. Recurring designs, overlapping patterns, and interwoven motifs produce a rich texture of narrative . . . . Joanna Dewey's description of the Gospel of Mark as an 'interwoven tapestry' is quite apt [1991]. (343) 68 B. Overview of Character and Characterization 1. Character and Characterization Characters are a central element in the story world, and are integrally related to the plot (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 101). A character is "an agent who takes plot-significant action" (Rhoads 1982, 419). A character is an autonomous being in the story world, one who is then described by the narrator in a certain way within the narrative itself (Chatman 1978, 119). This description involves the use of characterization. Characterization refers to the way a narrator brings characters to life in a narrative: what specific information the narrator chooses to tell the reader about that character, and the kind of rhetorical techniques that are used to convey that information. Readers in past times—ancient, medieval, and early modern—"tended to understand texts in terms of character, among other things, and that when character was read, it was read in terms of motivation" (Hochman 1985, 28-29). The challenge is how to bring anachronistic notions of character to bear on texts from the first century (54). To paint a more complete picture of both ancient and modern approaches to character analysis, I shall briefly describe some of the major players in this field. 2. Overview of Approaches to Character and Characterization a) Ancient approaches to character The ancients approached texts through analyzing their characters. Referring to both Homer and the Bible, Hochman (1985) says, "The canonical texts of the Western literary tradition have seemed to readers to deal with people and to project powerful images of discrete human beings. Indeed, the characters who figure in the classical texts have elicited responses 69 that are closely analogous to the responses people have had to other real people contemporary or historical" (22). Literary critics link New Testament characterization to both Greco-Roman literature and Hebrew literature. In both there is an 'opaqueness of character,' in which the information provided does not clearly communicate the nature of that character, leaving the reader to interpret for him/herself these oblique references (Scholes and Kellog 1966, 166). The narrator intentionally does not always provide explicit information about the character. The methods of characterization in Greco-Roman Bwq (biography), in Hebrew Scripture, and in New Testament gospels are indirect; they use speech and actions instead of direct description to convey information about the characters (Burridge 1992, 175-176, 205). The ancient narrators use rhetoric, in which "words are artfully deployed so as to move the reader or audience by focusing on [him/her] and [his/her] responses" (Scholes and Kellog 1966, 185).4 Although there are similarities between Greco-Roman and Hebraic characterization, there are also dissimilarities. Auerbach's (1957) view is that the Greek classics are more externalized and specific in their depiction of the characters, while the Hebrew Bible and New Testament tend more towards including only those specifics needed for the purpose of the narrative; the other character inferences in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are obscure, suggesting multilayeredness and thereby creating mystery and suspense (9-10).5 Alter (1981) supports Auerbach's view in his analysis of Hebrew Biblical characters: "the underlying biblical conception of character as often unpredictable, in some ways impenetrable, constantly emerging from and slipping back into a penumbra of ambiguity, in fact has greater affinity with dominant modern notions than do the habits of conceiving character typical of the Greek epics" (129). It is clear from this brief overview of the ancients' approach and depiction of characterization that the 70 New Testament holds something in common with both Greek and Hebrew characterization, but that it may have more in common with the characterization in the Hebrew Bible.6 There has been some controversy in modern times about analyzing texts through their characters. There is support, however, for approaching the New Testament gospels through character analysis. Weeden (1971) describes how in the Greek and Roman educational approach to a classical text (between the first century B.C.E. and second century C.E.), the pupil was taught not to look for historical accuracy but instead to examine the characters in the story to Q judge how best to live a moral life (14-18). The narrator would reshape and rewrite the lives of the actual historical personages so as to make a moral point (16). In school, the pupil was taught to examine the characters in detail (their words, their actions, and all the details that the narrator provided) (Weeden 1971, 13). Weeden argues that the reader and narrator of Mark would probably have had a Hellenistic education and would likely have been approaching the Gospel of Mark with a similar understanding: Thus we are on fairly safe ground in assuming that the first reader would have instinctively turned to the Markan characters, their portrayal, and the events which engulfed them as the starting point for understanding the composition. From careful reflection upon the attitudes, speeches, and behaviour of these characters [he/she] would have extrapolated insights which would have guided [him/her] in understanding the intention and message of the writer . . . [To start where a first century reader might have,] the twentieth century reader must start with the Markan characters. They hold the key to the mystery surrounding the creation of the Gospel. (18)9 b) Modern approaches to character Various approaches to character and characterization exist in the modern era. As I mentioned, New Testament critics need more theoretical understanding when using narrative criticism (Moore 1989, 177-178). I have, therefore, referred back to the original sources, which are often cited by New Testament narrative critics, to build a firmer foundation for a theory of characterization. I shall mention several non-biblical approaches to character and 71 characterization, as well as several biblical theories of characterization (for the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, focusing particularly on Markan studies); these particular character theorists are discussed because they provide many of the resources for the method that I have assembled. (1) Non-biblical approaches to character. Many New Testament scholars draw on existing character theory from the world of non-biblical literature, including the works of Forster (1974), Chatman (1978), Rimmon-Kenan (1983), and Hochman (1985). i) EM. Forster. Forster's (1974) categories for characters as 'flat' or 'round' are often referred to in New Testament studies.10 These distinctions were first presented at his 1927 Clark lectures and were not offered as exclusive categories (xvii). Forster describes flat characters as "sometimes called types, and sometimes caricatures. In their purest form, they are constructed round a single idea or quality; when there is more than one factor in them, we get the beginning of the curve towards the round" (46). Round characters cannot be summed up in one phrase, but pass through scenes and are modified by those scenes, waxing and waning with facets like human beings (48). What New Testament critics do not acknowledge is that these distinctions are not mutually exclusive, since a character can go from being flat, to round, and then flat again (50-52)." Even in the introduction to the 1974 edition of Forster's lecture notes, Stallybrass refers to "the notorious distinction between flat and round characters . . . [as being] shaky" (in 12 Forster 1974, xiv). Although Forster's early distinctions alerted critics to the need for categorization of characters, his flat/round distinction is not a stable one. As Rimmon-Kenan (1983) states, this dichotomy is "highly reductive, obliterating the degrees and nuances found in actual works of narrative fiction" ( 40). It will be necessary to categorize characters in another way. ii) Seymour Chatman. As mentioned earlier, Chatman's (1978) work on narrative structure in film and fiction is often referred to in New Testament narrative criticism. Chatman 72 argues for the 'open theory of character,' in which characters are seen as autonomous beings within the story world and not mere functions of the plot (119, 132). Character is "reconstructed by the audience from evidence that is announced or implicit in an original construction and communicated by the discourse" (119). Not only are the characters' actions important— characters have traits, as real people do. For Chatman, then, character is "a paradigm of traits" (126). It is not clear, however, how to arrive at these traits. Even Chatman admits that the assigning of traits is often done through inference (125). This may result in each reader interpreting character's actions as implying different traits. Since Chatman's analysis of character is tied to the trait system, his analysis is bound to "the verbal surface of the text" (Hochman 1985, 36). Chatman recognizes that "much work remains to be done on character, whatever the basis for its analysis: in particular the conventions relating to traits (or whatever they shall be called) need the same close historical examination as do those relating to event-sequence. In both instances, the broader semantic implications will have to be worked out, as well as subclassifications of kinds of plots and characters" (263). Chatman provides the basic ideas for a theory about character and characterization, such as characters' autonomy in the story world, the importance of not only their actions but also their traits in their impact on the narrative, the need for historical context for traits and events in the story, and the need for the classification of characters. iii) Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan. Pvimmon-Kenan (1983) incorporates reader-response criticism in an approach to character. For Rimmon-Kenan, character is part of the story, and characterization belongs to the text. Story is the narrated events abstracted out and reconstructed into chronological order, and character participates in these events. Text is the discourse that relates events (not necessarily in order). All discourse is filtered through a particular perspective. The reader reconstructs the character from the various indicators dispersed throughout the text, 73 and the reconstruction may be influenced by the sequence of indicators in the text (Rimmon-Kenan in Williams 1994, 59-60). iv) Baruch Hochman. Hochman (1985), like Chatman, believes characters have more in common with people in life than contemporary critical discussion suggests (7). There is a congruity between the ways the reader apprehends characters in literature and people in life, including the clues the reader takes to construct character's image (36). The reader does, however, need to distinguish sharply between characters in literature and people in life. Hochman does this through his labels 'homo fictus' and 'homo sapiens' (58).14 In the process of examining characters in literature, the interpreter goes through a process of abstracting the information about the character out of the text, and constructing the character in his/her consciousness. It is important for the interpreter to resolve that character back into the text in question, so as to complete the process of examining the character's impact within the narrative. Hochman offers excellent observations on the assumptions underlying characterization theory, many of which I shall discuss in more detail in my method. As well, he recognizes the process that the interpreter goes through in abstracting the character out of the text, and then resolving it back into the text again. (2) Hebrew Biblical approaches to character. Both Alter (1981, 1992) and Sternberg (1985) investigate the components of Hebrew Biblical narratives. Since many of their observations about characterization apply to the Gospel of Mark, I use elements of their approaches within my own method. i) Robert Alter. Alter (1981) focuses on the use of conventions in the Hebrew Bible, and the "manifold variations upon a pattern that any system of literary convention elicits" (47-48). This applies to many parts of the narrative, including characterization. Characterization in the Hebrew Bible is about "the art of reticence," where biblical characters remain elusive and 74 contradictory (1981, 114; 1992, 149). There is a subtle definition of characters, relations, and motives mainly through dialogue (1981, 176): "The primacy of dialogue is so pronounced . . . [that narrative takes a] highly subsidiary role . . . in comparison to direct speech by the characters" (65). Especially in dialogue, there is verbatim repetition with minute but significant changes introduced. How and when information about the character is introduced also plays an important role; sometimes the narrator withholds information initially so that it can be used at an influential point later in the story (80-81). The information that the narrator provides about the character is not always explicit; how that information is communicated may affect its certainty in conveying motives, attitudes, and the moral nature of that character (166). ii) Meir Sternberg. For Sternberg, the all-embracing principle for biblical narrative art is that it "turns on authoritative relations between the told and the withheld, from the interpreter's viewpoint, the given and the hypothetical: between the truth and the whole truth" (1985, 321). As far as character is concerned, the 'truth' is the explicit statements made about the character initially by the narrator; the 'whole truth' is the secrets and consequences of the character which are inferred from his/her ensuing action, which reveal a deeper sense of the character to the reader (321). Character portrayal is "a distributed, often oblique and tortuous unfolding of features. So reading a character becomes a process of discovery, attended by all the biblical hallmarks: progressive reconstruction, tentative closure of discontinuities, frequent and sometimes painful reshaping in the face of the unexpected, and intractable pockets of darkness to the very end" (323-324). It is clear that for Sternberg, the Hebrew Bible is a theological document; this must be taken into account in understanding how the narrator approaches character and characterization. The most significant feature of Sternberg's approach for my method is that there is a progressive development of the character: the initial epithet may give 75 way, through the actions of the character, to a fuller understanding of not only the character but also the plot, and therefore the theological message being given to the reader.15 c) Modern New Testament approaches to character A number of scholars focus on character and characterization within their analyses of Mark and offer a general understanding of New Testament character and characterization. These scholars include Tannehill (1977, 1979), Malbon (1983, 1986, 1989, 1992), Rhoads and Michie (1982), Rhoads (1994), Williams (1994), and Dewey (1997). New Testament exploration of character and characterization is influenced by some of the non-biblical and biblical theorists just mentioned. Rhoads and Michie (1982), Malbon (1989, 1994), Williams (1994), and Rhoads (1994) all apply Forster's and Chatman's approaches; Williams (1994) also refers to the character theories proposed by Rimmon-Kenan (1983) and Sternberg (1985). Using Forster's categories, Rhoads (1994) considers that Jesus and the disciples are 'round' characters, the authorities are 'flat,' and the minor characters are usually 'stock' characters (359). In discussing Forster's categories, Malbon (1989) distinguishes between the classic use of type characters and the New Testament use of exceptional characters who work to prevent the type from becoming a stereotype (279-280). Malbon (1994) suggests that the flat/round distinction "forces us to consider each character in relation to all other characters. Flat and round are relative~and thus relational—terms" (82 n.6). Tannehill's (1979) excellent early narrative critical analysis of Mark shows how there are narrative compositional techniques at work and that the narrator is leading readers into a revelation about themselves.16 Williams (1994) draws not only on Chatman's basic premises (1978), but also on the works of Tannehill (1979), Rhoads and Michie (1982), and Rimmon-Kenan (1983). Williams focuses on the minor characters in Mark, incorporating into narrative criticism a more reader-oriented 76 17 approach (78). Williams suggests that the Markan narrator uses eleven literary devices for characterization (60-67); I shall elaborate these below in my method. In Williams' analytical process of observing the minor characters in Mark, he begins by placing the particular episode within the larger narrative section, paying close attention to the sequential flow of the narrative. Next, he uses other minor character episodes as analogues to the story in question. Following that, he analyzes the characterization of the particular minor character in that story, yielding traits and discussing any symbols that are involved. Finally, he discusses the function of that episode within the narrative (again paying attention to the sequence of the presentation of events). Rhoads and Michie (1982) and Rhoads (1982) provide a basic framework to begin to understand the process of characterization within Mark (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 101-136; Rhoads 1982, 417-419). In breaking down the process of Markan characterization, it is important to distinguish between the 'what' and the 'how' of characterization. Characterization involves both 'what' the narrator tells us about the character and 'how' he tells us. The 'what' refers to the information provided about the character within the narrative, and the 'how' refers to the rhetorical techniques used by the narrator to convey this information. The 'how' of characterization includes the narrator's various stylistic techniques, including the use of speech representation, two-step progression, irony, transitional episodes, and the order of presentation of character information. The 'what? of characterization involves the narrator both telling us and showing us different things about the character. The narrator either 'tells' the reader directly what the characters are like, or 'shows' the reader indirectly.18 The narrator can 'show' us the characters through their words and actions, by what others say about them, and by how others react to them. The Markan narrator "primarily shows the characters to the reader rather than telling about them . . . by evoking pictures suggesting images," so that as the story unfolds, the characters are gradually revealed (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 101). 77 Since Rhoads (1982) believes that the development of plot is more important than the development of character within Mark, he suggests that the interpreter needs to evaluate the function of the characters' actions in relation to the plot of the story (417). I believe that the characters or the plot can be in the foreground or background in an analysis (Hochman 1985, 172). In either case, the interpreter needs to look at characterization with links to development of plot and the themes expressed within it; this is done by resolving the character back into the text. Although Dewey (1997) refers to some of the sources mentioned above, she also develops her own approach to characterization. In agreement with other narrative critics, she believes there is a vividness of character in the gospels that comes through the narrator 'showing' the reader the character versus 'telling' the reader about him/her. For Dewey, however, the 'showing' comes through the mimetic development of the character. Dewey's contribution is particularly useful to my method since she highlights character development; not only does she distinguish between the three Synoptic Gospels, but she also examines character development according to gender. In Dewey's summary of her analysis, she states, "[a]ll three Gospels are androcentric in their narrative portrayal, describing male characters with more detail than female characters, portraying males speaking to Jesus and being addressed by Jesus more often than female characters. The other stories present an interesting picture: the woman acts, and then others, usually men, discuss her behavior" (53). In looking at the healing narratives specifically, Mark's are the longest and most mimetically developed, and the men are indeed presented with greater mimetic development than the women (55). The Greek Syrophoenician woman is an exception, having both mimetic development and a speech which changes Jesus' mind. If this woman's word has such an impact, it is useful to analyze not only overall mimetic development in Mk 7:24-30, but also the speech representation within the text. Dewey draws 78 attention to the significance of direct speech within the literary devices used by the narrator, a device heretofore rarely explored in New Testament character analysis. Analyses of Markan characters usually focus on major characters, or on groups of characters as they appear throughout the narrative.19 There have been several exceptions. Rhoads analyzes one particular passage, namely Mk 7:24-30 (1994). This analysis was the first narrative study of an individual episode (Rhoads 1994, 343). Since Rhoads' purpose is to "interpret the episode of the Syrophoenician woman as an integral part of the whole narrative," his analysis of her character and Jesus' character is only part of that overall purpose (359-363). Although his analysis of that pericope is commendable, it does not exhaust the unexplained aspects of the text. Another exception to the usual focus on major Markan characters is Williams' (1994) analysis of the minor characters within the Markan gospel. Both Williams' and Rhoads' analyses provide crucial resources from which to build a method for examining the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. II. Method After reviewing the various approaches that have been applied to analyses of character and characterization, I have assembled a method for interpreting the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. While I rely mostly on biblical scholars, when little is available on a given topic in these resources I draw on outside resources (such as non-biblical literary critics and linguists). In this section, I shall introduce my method by stating my assumptions about character and characterization and defining some relevant terms, and then I shall discuss the process for examining her character. 79 A. Introduction 1. My Assumptions About Character Most of my assumptions about character stem from the observations of Hochman (1985). Since the Gospel of Mark was written almost two thousand years ago, I must attempt to understand the words and the concepts of character used within the context of their original epoch (Hochman 1985, 55). Ancient literature was read/heard in terms of character, with regards to characters' motivation (29). Yet, as modern readers, we construct images of the characters in terms of our own knowledge and experience (56). Hochman suggests that any method that discusses character should include: being conscious of the hypothetical and constructed nature of literature; the difficulty in retrieving any 'original' meaning or context for a text (both ancient or modern); and not conferring on the character any more reality (verisimilitude) than the text allows for them (30). There is a link, however, in our response to people and to characters. We go through a similar process, accessing both people and characters in terms of human behaviour. (This process shall be discussed when I describe how the reader abstracts a character from a text.) There are some basic things that can be said about character (Hochman 1985, 31-32, 166). It is an aspect of the surface structure of the text. The means of generating images of characters from this surface structure do not constitute character, they signify it. The character is subsequently retrieved by our consciousness. Our experience of character, therefore, is the end product in a process implicit in reading. We are then abstracting the character from the text; the text gives us words that signify the character from its surface structure, and we, in the process of reading, create that abstract character through our own consciousness. 80 Besides the role of the reader in creating a character, there is, of course, the role of the narrator. The text, or discourse, is filtered through the perspective of the narrator. The narrator, consciously or unconsciously, uses certain devices to influence the reader's perception of that character. Some of these devices and their intended effects shall be described when I specify those used by the Markan narrator in Mk 7:24-30. Having stated my assumptions about character and characterization, permit me to pose some crucial questions that need to be addressed in my method (Williams 1994, 55; Hochman 1985,166). What is character? How are characters inferred from a narrative text? How are characters abstracted from the text? How are characters resolved back into the text? What methods of characterization are used by the Markan narrator? 2. Definition of Terms To answer the question, what is character, I must define several terms that are closely linked in my method: character, trait, and characterization. Character is a network of traits and attributive propositions, constructed by the reader during the reading process from various indicators dispersed throughout the text (Rimmon-Kenan 1983, 36; Burnett 1993, 16). The traits may appear in the text, or else, they are inferred from various character indicators distributed along the text-continuum; these indicators are the method of characterization used by the narrator (Rimmon-Kenan 1983, 59). A trait is "a narrative adjective [or abstract noun] out of the vernacular labeling a personal quality of a character as it persists over part or whole of the story" (Chatman 1978, 125; Rimmon-Kenan 1983, 59). The character, therefore, exists within the abstracted story; the story exists inside the consciousness of the reader. Characterization refers to the way a narrator communicates information about that character to the reader; the narrator chooses specific indicators and rhetorical devices to convey character information to the reader 81 (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 101; Williams 1994, 60). This characterization of persons in narrative works "may include direct methods like the attribution of qualities in description or commentary, and indirect (or 'dramatic') methods inviting readers to infer qualities from characters' actions, speech, or appearance" (Baldick 1990, 34). 3. How Are Characters Inferred From a Narrative? As readers, we infer a character from the text by examining the various indicators the narrator disperses throughout the text. As mentioned above, the narrator uses both direct and indirect methods to communicate character to the reader. Rimmon-Kenan (1983) describes these two basic types of textual character indicators: 1. direct presentation, in which a trait is named by adjective, an abstract noun, or some other kind of noun or part of; 2. indirect presentation, which displays or exemplifies the trait so the reader must infer the quality (59).20 Indirect presentation can be done through action, speech, external appearance, or environment. Rimmon-Kenan reminds us that "[fjhe transition from textual element to abstracted trait or attributive proposition . . . is often mediated by various degrees of generalization" (37). Besides direct and indirect methods of communicating character to a reader, the narrator also uses analogy to reinforce what has already been communicated about the character. Rimmon-Kenan (1983) explains that analogy is usually used to reinforce what the narrator has already indicated about the character; it does not provide new information and it is not a separate type of character indicator (67). Narrative analogies "show similarity in plot, character, setting, theme or terminology" (Williams 1994,40). Analogies shall be discussed in further detail in the section on resolving the character back into the text. 82 4. How Are Characters Abstracted From a Narrative? Hochman (1985) refers to the abstracting of a character from the text as a necessary part of the reading process: The act of abstraction is a legitimate, though controlled, aspect of our relation to literature.... [LJiterary texts demand that we abstract the characters from them in the course of analyzing them in order to grasp the implicit or explicit logic of their actions, their worlds, their thematic concerns. Even the very language of literature remains incomprehensible if we carry too far the view that characters of literature are not hes, shes, thems, but rather its. Reference of pronouns, in a work that generates characters, remains incomprehensible unless we posit—and abstract—the figment to which it refers, however ambiguously. (166) To abstract the character, the reader analyzes the character's actions and words and the information that the narrator supplies about them, including the themes and images connected with them; the reader does so in order to discover the logic behind this information, which is usually a message the narrator is trying to communicate to the reader through his choice and presentation of that information. How is this abstraction performed? As I mentioned in my assumptions, Hochman (1985) provides a sequence of steps (40-41). First, we notice how the character is inferred in the text. Second, we abstract the character from the text, noticing that we analyze the data after we have received it, and that the data falls into familiar patterns. Third, we reduce characters to what is their essential meaning or animating principle. This meaning is usually connected to thematic content; how these themes develop gives us a clearer idea of the message the narrator is trying to communicate to the reader. When we begin to discuss thematic content, we also begin the process of resolving the character back into the text. 4. How Are Characters Resolved Back Into the Text? Resolving the character back into the text is "possible, legitimate, and often desirable" (Hochman 1985, 176). In the resolution process, the character becomes background and the plot becomes foreground: "we subordinate the characters themselves to such elements as imagery or 83 thematic structures" or through other aspects of the text (172). The resolution can be thematic, imagistic, psychological, sociological, formal, or linguistic (168). I shall discuss how Hochman's resolution process applies to the character of the Greek Syrophoenician woman later in this chapter. Having discussed in general terms what a character is, how a character is inferred and abstracted from the text, and how he/she is resolved back into the text, I shall now provide the detailed process for examining the Markan narrator's characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. B. The Abstraction of the Character The abstraction of the character from the text involves several steps, as has already been mentioned: inferring information about that character from what is included in the text; analyzing that data into traits and behaviour patterns; evaluating how the narrator's stylistic devices affect this process; and translating the character information and traits to character categories (so as to link the character with thematic content). Once these categories have been established, it is easier to resolve the character back into the text. a) Infer the character from the text In the text, the narrator provides information about the character to the reader. To discover what character indicators are provided by the Markan narrator about the Greek Syrophoenician woman, I shall focus on two different approaches: the eleven Markan characterization devices and the criteria for mimetic development. Two additional approaches 84 support these approaches: the interlocking features of characterization and the certainty of character information scale. These four methods of evaluation shall provide me with the raw material from which the character can be inferred. (1) Eleven Markan characterization devices. Williams (1994) discovers that the Markan narrator uses eleven literary devices for characterization (60). In brief, here are Williams' devices, beginning with the most explicit means of characterization and going to the most implicit means of characterization: 1. The narrator directly states traits (through adjectives). 2. The narrator indirectly expresses an evaluation (without an adjective). 3. Another character directly states traits of a character. 4. Another character indirectly evaluates a character (with a grammatical structure other than an adjective). 5. Another character evaluates a character through a drastic action. 6. The narrator shows traits through presenting the character's inward thoughts. 7. The narrator shows traits through presenting the character's actions. 8. The narrator shows traits through presenting the character's speech. 9. The narrator shows traits through presenting the character's appearance. 10. The narrator highlights traits through the use of analogy. 11. The narrator may influence the reconstruction of traits through the order of presentation of information in the narrative. (60-67) Williams' analysis is one of the most comprehensive and explicit of all the methods of characterization analysis in New Testament studies. I shall evaluate which of these literary characterization devices apply to the woman in Mk 7:24-30. The Markan narrator rarely provides traits directly, preferring to 'show' aspects of the character from which the traits must 85 be inferred. The process, therefore, shall involve first extracting the character indicators from the text, and then placing them within their literary and socio-historical context. Within that context, the interpreter can make inferences about the traits the narrator is trying to establish for the character. (2) Mimetic development criteria. Dewey's (1997) article on the portrayal of men and women in the Synoptic Gospels is the one New Testament study that highlights the importance of the mimetic development of characters. The extent of a character's mimetic development is established according to four criteria: 1. The quantity of information about the character that the narrator provides 2. The amount of concrete details provided that are not necessary for the plot 3. The use of direct discourse 4. The inclusion of the internal views of the character (54) Using these criteria, Dewey concludes that the greater the mimetic effect (that is, the more vividly the character resembles real people), the greater the reader's identification with the narrative and the more influential the character in the narrative seems to be (53-54). This is an exciting article, since it provides support for my view that character development (including direct speech) has an impact not only within the development of a particular story, but also within the development of the larger Markan narrative. The other approaches that can support these first two cover much of the same territory as Williams' characterization devices. Sternberg's (1985) interlocking features of characterization highlight certain kinds of information that the narrator provides about the character. Alter's (1981) scale of the certainty of information shows how there is a difference in the certainty of information provided by the narrator and information provided by the character him/herself or by other characters. In my analysis of the Greek Syrophoenician woman, as I progress through 86 Williams' framework for characterization devices, I shall include observations from these two approaches. (3) Five interlocking character features. For Sternberg (1985), a character portrait consists of five interlocking sets of features: 1. Physical 2. Social (i.e., relation to others in the story) 3. Singular or concretizing (i.e., a name or trade) 4. Moral and ideological 5. Psychological in a wide sense (326-7) The first two features (the externals) are subordinate to the final two features (the internals), especially given the theological concerns of the Bible. The Bible specifies the externals by way of introduction to the character. Both the externals' and the internals' significance can be reversed at will within the theological developments of the narrative. The internals are "opaque and penetrable, i f at all, by trial and error" (32). Sternberg (1985) believes that Hebrew Biblical characterization is often done initially by epithet. These initial epithets, both external and internal, can turn out to be misleading in relation to subsequent disclosures during the narrative (327). This can result in a clash between the impression produced by the character's first appearance and the one left after his last: "[o]n the whole, the givenness of character stands in inverse proportion to the ultimate characterological relevance or centrality of the given character traits" (327). (4) Scale for the certainty of character information. Alter (1981) approaches the scale of characterization tools by including not only explicitness, but also including the certainty of the information for conveying motives, attitudes, and the moral nature of the character: 1. There is certainty in the narrator's statements about the attitudes and intentions of the 87 character. 2. There are conscious intentions expressed through the character's inward speech. 3. There must be a weighing of claims when there is direct speech by the character and when there is another character's comments on the character. 4. There is only inference when information is provided about the character's appearance, gesture, posture, and costume, and when there is a report of the character's actions, (my emphases, Alter 1981, 116) In weighing the information that the narrator provides, therefore, I must decide how reliable that information is. In my analysis of Mk 7:24-30,1 shall apply Williams' process for analyzing Markan characterization, and Dewey's criteria for mimetic development; while doing so, I shall include observations derived from Sternberg's five interlocking character features, and Alter's scale about the certainty of character information. Further work can be done on both Williams' and Dewey's approaches. For example, how exactly are traits arrived at? What is the function of direct versus indirect speech in the narrative? What is the function of an analogue, and what kind of analogues does Mark include? What stylistic devices is the Markan narrator using in Mk 7:24-30? For example, how does the narrator use order of presentation to influence the reader's understanding of a character? The answers to these questions help to flesh out my method for analyzing character. b) How traits are arrived at Now that I have looked at how to infer character information from the text, how do I turn these character indicators into traits? Work remains to be done in particular on the conventions relating to traits (Chatman 1978, 263). As I have already mentioned while discussing Chatman 88 and Sternberg, the process of arriving at traits is often through inference and, in the case of biblical narrative, the initial epithets may be misleading (Chatman 1978, 125; Sternberg 1985, 327). Not only may different readers interpret character's actions as implying different traits, but their choice of these traits may change as the story unfolds. The verbal surface is the place to begin to look for information about the character from which to build traits. Rimmon-Kenan begins by looking closely at the various indicators dispersed throughout the text; based on the reader's conception of people, the reader infers a set of traits for the character from these indicators (in Williams 1994, 59-60). Combining the four methods of evaluation that were discussed earlier (from Williams, Dewey, Sternberg, and Alter), I shall discover the character indicators for the Greek Syrophoenician woman. Placing these indicators within their literary and socio-historical contexts gives a modern reader a clearer understanding of what traits can be assigned. The traits I propose shall then be compared with the findings of other interpreters. c) Evaluating the narrator's stylistic devices The Markan narrator uses four stylistic devices in Mk 7:24-30 that have not been adequately explored. These are two-step progression, the order of presentation of character information, speech representation, and transitional episodes.22 Each has an influence on the reader. (1) Two-step progression. Rhoads (1994) discusses the use of two-step progression in Mark and how "a single instance of the two-step progression can be significant, but the accumulative impact of many occurrences leads the hearer to linger attentively for a repetition" (353). In two-step progression, the narrator uses two stages for the development of a theme, motif, or character. For a character, similar yet not identical words describe that character (in adjective or action). In two-step progression, the second part does not merely repeat what has 89 already been said, but it clarifies the first part (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 47). As I mentioned in my review of the literature, two-step progression is commented upon in reference to Mk 7:24-30 (Rhoads 1994, 353). The woman being described as both Greek and Syrophoenician needs further investigation. It is clear that the narrator wants to highlight that she was non-Jewish, but why are both descriptive words included? What are the differences between them? How do these words connect this story to the rest of the Markan narrative? This investigation links the characterization of the woman with the narrative analogies from Hebrew Biblical sources, where I shall look to find information on these terms. (2) Order ofpresentation of character information. A narrative is intended to influence a reader, not just to tell a story. This is particularly the case with the Synoptic Gospels and, in this case, with the Gospel of Mark. Mark uses literary techniques that highlight "the temporal nature of reading and the sequential flow of the narrative"; the ordering of elements in narrative is one of the chief literary techniques that a narrator may use to influence the reader's perception of the story (Williams 1994, 78, 80). The Markan narrator may influence the reconstruction of traits through the order of presentation of information in the narrative (Williams 1994, 66-67). I shall explore how this stylistic device affects the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman in Mk 7:24-30 in two ways. The first way is to discuss the type of expository information that the narrator provides (and when he provides it). i) Expository information. First impressions are important, and they are controlled by the narrator (Williams 1994, 66-67). Expository information has a critical impact on the reader. Such information can include the name of the character, geographical location, signs of identity and kinship relations-in some instances even moral, social, or physical characterization of the protagonist (Alter 1981, 80). The narrator also plays with how to introduce a character to the reader. The way the narrator introduces the character indicates whether or not the character is 90 considered reliable (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 40). Sometimes the narrator surprises the reader, making them think about their presuppositions by having their perception of the character shift from the initial introduction to how the character appears later in the story (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 40). Although the character may initially be described by the narrator in a certain way, more information may be yet to come: "[s]maller pieces of exposition are withheld to be revealed at some appropriate moment in the midst of the tale" (Alter 1981, 80-81). I shall examine how the narrator introduces the Greek Syrophoenician woman. ii) The reader is drawn to self-evaluation when normal expectations must give over to the will of the divine. The second way that the order of presentation of information affects Mk 7:24-30 is in how the reader is drawn to self-evaluation due to the characterization reversals within the narrative. This reversal occurs when the reader's normal expectations must give over to divine standards. While analyzing the role of the disciples in Mark, Tannehill (1977) discusses a common story technique for getting the reader to evaluate him/herself (393). As mentioned earlier, the narrator develops characters for the reader to admire and identify with, so as to create a model for the reader to emulate. In Mark, the character of Jesus is such a model. In the case of some other characters, however, the narrator develops the story so there is a reversal, and the characters show themselves not to be admirable; this is the case at times with the disciples. The reader must re-evaluate his/her relation to those characters according to how Jesus responds to these characters: "[t]his tension between identification and repulsion can lead the sensitive reader beyond a naively positive view of himself [or herself] to self-criticism and repentance" (393). In the Gospel of Mark, "we enter a world full of conflict and suspense, a world of surprising reversals and strange ironies, a world of riddles and hidden meanings" (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 1). In the Gospel of Mark, as in the Hebrew Bible, there is a "reversal of normal 91 probabilities built into God's operations on history, the weakness ('handicapped') promises to become a source of strength and the omen marking the hero bodes ill for the antagonist" (Sternberg 1985, 333).24 Sternberg's "reversal of normal probabilities" applies to Mk 7:24-30. How the narrator describes the character can be a set-up for this type of reversal: "[a] biblical epithet serves at least two functions, one bearing directly on the character it qualifies and the other bearing indirectly on the plot where [he/she] figures as agent or patient.... It shapes the sequence of our expectations (as a foreshadowing device) because it is bound to shape the sequence of events . . . . [The] seeming discontinuity between the initial epithet and its consequences brings out in miniature how normal expectations must give place to the divinely informed" (Sternberg 1985, 337-339).25 Sternberg recognizes that there is a shift from the initial information given about the character to the final impression. He considers that it is action that bridges the initial truth and the whole truth: "From given character to action provoked to deeper 9 r » character implied" (342). The narrator initially gives the reader some description of the character, which sets up the reader's expectation that the story will evolve in a certain way; but then the character's action provokes the reader to consider some deeper sense of the character, usually with the result that their expectations must give over to an increased sense of divine 9 7 meaning or understanding. Williams (1994) applies Tannehill's and Sternberg's insights about rhetorical tools of characterization to how Markan minor characters influence the reader (71, 77-78). The reader often becomes sympathetic to the minor characters after they have initially been portrayed negatively; this reversal is often due to Jesus' compassion for them and his desire to help them (104). For example, Williams believes that the reader starts out identifying with the disciples, but identification gradually shifts during the story, with the identification with the disciples wavering and the sympathy for the minor characters increasing.28 Although the Greek 92 Syrophoenician woman is not an example considered in any detail by Tannehill or Williams, applying their process for examining the reader's response to the woman is appropriate. (3) Speech representation. One way that a narrator communicates character information to the reader is through the speech of that character. Since the dialogue between Jesus and the woman in Mk 7:24-30 forms the central focus of the scene, I wish to explore the function of speech within characterization and narrative. In my method, I draw on sources beyond New Testament critics, since not much is available on a practical level in this area besides Dewey's analysis (1997). I look to English literary critics, sociologists, and linguists for discussions of speech within narrative. I shall discuss categories and linguistic features of speech, the function of speech representation within narrative, and then the relationship between direct speech and gender within the Gospel of Mark. i) Categories and linguistic features of speech representation. Tannen (1986), a conversational analyst, argues that the term "reported speech is a misnomer . . . what is commonly referred to as reported speech or direct quotation in conversation is constructed dialogue" (311). Instead, Tannen suggests the use of the terms 'first-person dialogue' instead of direct speech, and 'third-person dialogue' instead of indirect speech (311).30 Banfield (1973) defines these two categories (17-18). Third-person dialogue can be identified when a verb of communication takes a sentence complement as a direct object, wherein the speech act and its content are only reported, not reproduced. First-person dialogue consists of two successive independent sentences in discourse, which are distinguished by the pronominalization and the demonstrative object of the communication verb; in first-person dialogue, the quoted speaker's own expression appears after the verb of communication. Genette (1980) has a third category for character's speech: 'narratized, or narrated, speech' (in which speech is implied within the narrative rather than any specific words being provided) (171).31 In keeping with Tannen's 93 terms, I shall refer to this third form as 'narratized dialogue.' These three terms draw attention to the narrator's active role in constructing the dialogue and clarify his choices for communicating that dialogue has occurred. There are linguistic features of speech representation that help us to identify and to find the function behind the various types. Linguistic features of speech representation include the following: a reported verb of communication (say, think, ask), with some conjunction for third-person dialogue (like 'that' in English); tense-scheme of the verb(s); personal and possessive pronouns; deictics (i.e., demonstrative expressions); questions; vocatives, interjections, lexical registers or dialectical features (Rimmon-Kenan 1983, 111-113).32 These terms, definitions, and linguistic features shall be applied in my analysis of types of speech representation in Mk 7:24-30. ii) Functions of speech representation. Besides being interested in the grammatical characteristics of speech, it is important to recognize the role of speech in communication, including both the role of the narrator and the character speaking. What is the speech intended to do within the narrative, and what does it in fact do (Chatman 1978, 161)?33 First-person dialogue communicates a seemingly more authentic piece of information than third-person dialogue in the sense that first-person dialogue "implies a greater fidelity to the source of information" (Li 1986, 30). First-person dialogue is also characterized by its "theatrical" nature (Li 1986, 41). Due to its dramatic presentation, unlike third-person dialogue, first-person dialogue "is the most common mode of expression at the peak of oral narrative in many languages" (40).34 Tannen (1986) concurs that speech representation "makes story into drama, and that through such drama talk builds on and creates interpersonal involvement [for the reader/hearer]" (330). Many researchers have observed that "narrative is more vivid when speech is presented as first-person dialogue . . . rather than third-person report" (311). There is 94 an immediacy about reading dialogue, as if it were occurring at the time of reading/telling; dialogue is more integrated (packing more information into fewer words) and therefore involves the reader/hearer in the process of making sense of the story (323-324). Features that contribute to involvement by the reader/hearer are: 1) repetition 2) direct quotation in reported speech a) dialogue exchanged b) thoughts of speaker c) thoughts of [the other character] 3) historical present verbs 4) ellipsis a) deletion of verb of saying b) deletion of copula c) deletion of comment or proposition 5) sound words 6) second person singular 7) minimal external evaluation. (Tannen 1986, 324)35 I shall see how the linguists' features of speech representation apply to Mk 7:24-30, looking not only at the grammatical indicators, but also how speech representation is used by the narrator. Does the dialogue seem to give more authentic information? Does the speech representation appear at the peak of the narrative? Does its theatrical nature create a more interpersonal involvement for the reader in making sense of the story? If so, what features of the speech representation contribute to this involvement? Besides the functions of speech representation that have been identified by linguists, narrative critics have also described some of its functions. Tannehill (1977) discusses how "[t]he use of dialogue in a dramatic scene . . . [expands] the amount of space in a writing given to a segment of time in the story, compared to the alternative possibility of presenting an event or series of events in a brief summary. Thus dialogue in a dramatic scene emphasizes, while summary narration of events gives them a subordinate position" (391). Alter (1981) believes that there is in biblical literature a bias of stylization in narrating through dialogue, "because 95 words underlie reality" within the biblical world view—with words God called the world into being (1981, 69). Since Jesus uses his divinely-drawn power in words to effect miracles and healings, this seems applicable to Mark as well. Speech representation, therefore, is used to slow down the tempo of a narrative, with dialogue emphasizing the content; the spoken word can hold creative power. Alter (1981) makes general observations about the use of dialogue in scriptural narratives (1981, 74-75). At the beginning of any story, the point where dialogue is introduced is important, especially when it involves the exposition of character. If dialogue is used often, ask why dialogue is used rather than narrative. Since dialogue may affirm or expose that character's relationship to God through the force of language, what is said or left unsaid is equally important. It is also significant how characters reveal themselves through what they repeat, report, or distort of the speeches of others. Third-person dialogue is used to avoid excessive repetition, to show a devaluation of what is said, to move a scene along rapidly, and when there is some consideration of concealment or of propriety (78). I shall apply these observations to the use of dialogue in Mk 7:24-30. iii) First-person dialogue and gender in Mark. As I mentioned above, Dewey's (1997) work on gender characterization in the Synoptic Gospels mentions how first-person dialogue affects character development in the mind of the reader (53-54). Dewey has done the most work on the area of speech representation and gender in the Synoptic Gospels. At this point, I focus on those comments that pertain to the Gospel of Mark. In her analysis of first-person dialogue in the Markan healing narratives, men speak twice as often as women, and Jesus speaks more to men than to women (55). In these narratives, the Markan female minor characters are shown talking half as much as the male minor characters. In Mark, "of the three women [involved in 96 healings], one speaks once, one speaks once to herself, and one does not speak at all" (55). Dewey asks whether the reason women talk less is literary or historical: Is the pattern of the women speaking less than the men to be attributed to the literary activity of the evangelists or to the actual behaviour of women in the culture which did not encourage their speaking? . . . [I]n the healing narrative, we are sometimes told the women actually speak, but we are not shown them speaking in direct discourse [e.g., Mk 5:33, 7:26; Lk 8:47, 13:13].... The synoptic evangelists could portray women speaking as often as men but they did not. (58) When a woman does speak, therefore, it is significant. As mentioned in chapter 1, however, "rendering a character in direct speech makes him or her more vivid for the reader, but not necessarily more admirable.... Mimetic emphasis is needed to render a woman visible at all. How she is visible depends on the content of the narrative, and may or may not serve patriarchal interests" (57). The Greek Syrophoenician woman not only speaks, but unlike any Markan stories, what she says changes Jesus' mind: "Thus, in this story, the mimetic emphasis is not so much on Jesus' healing act as in most healing narrative, as on the woman's speech" (Dewey 1997, 56). If this is the case, it is crucial to look at her speech within the context of speech representation in general. Not only is she the only woman in a healing narrative where the Markan narrator uses first-person dialogue in her interchange with Jesus, but she is the only woman in Mark whose words are directly given by the narrator in a dialogue with Jesus. Although Dewey recognizes the importance of first-person dialogue, she does not discuss in any depth how the various other forms of dialogue are used, and how these forms can affect the reader. She also does not discuss in any detail the speech representation of the other female characters in Mark outside of the healing narratives. (4) Transitional episodes. Another Markan literary device is the use of transitional episodes. A transitional passage both connects to the preceding material as well as contrasts to 97 it, thereby encouraging the reader to anticipate the following narratives (Williams 1994, 129). The passage is transitional in both geography and content; it aids the development of characterization among Markan characters, and it changes the reader's relationship with these characters (167). Within this passage, there is often a transitional figure who serves in this process of change. Although Willliams does not include the Greek Syrophoenician woman within his list of transitional figures in Mark, given his criteria, I shall show in my analysis that she is a transitional figure within the theme of Gentile mission.38 Two-step progression, order of presentation of character information, speech representation, and transitional episodes are only four of the many narrative devices at work in Mk 7:24-30. These four shall be analyzed since they are closely linked to the character of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. d) Categorization of characters Besides methods of characterization, interpreters also look at how to categorize characters. There are a number of different New Testament approaches to classifying characters. Characters can be examined according to the extent of their involvement and significance within the plot. They are then referred to as major or minor characters. Jesus is, of course, the most dominant character in the Markan narrative, making him a major character. Other major characters include the authorities and the disciples; although they are groups, each group has distinctive qualities and can be treated as a single character. Among the minor characters there is also a group ('the crowd'), and there are other individual minor characters. Besides looking at them as major and minor characters, characters can be classified according to the degree of their development as unique personalities. As mentioned in the earlier section on non-biblical theories on characterization, the literary critic Forster (1974) categorized 98 characters as being either 'round,' 'fiat,' or 'stock' characters (46-54). New Testament scholars refer back to Forster's categories. A 'round' character has many complex and/or conflicting traits, so that the character is unpredictable; this character type is considered dynamic (i.e., subject to development) (Rhoads 1994, 359; Baldick 1990, 34). A 'flat' character has several consistent traits and is generally predictable and unchanging. A 'stock' character basically has one consistent trait, making the character very predictable. As I mentioned in the review of the literature, Rhoads (1994) categorizes the Greek Syrophoenician woman as a 'stock' character, with this particular 'stock' character being a 'suppliant with faith'; he does contradict himself, however, when he says that she is "a rather complex stock character!" (361). Certainly it is reasonable to develop a class of minor characters who are 'suppliants with faith,' who share 'faith' as a trait, and to include this woman in this class. As I said earlier, Forster's system is not adequate to classify the characters that appear in the Markan narrative, and I believe another way of approaching characters is in order. Besides categorizing characters according to the extent of their characterization, scholars have simply put them into groups according to shared traits and shared character indicators. The categorization of a character is done in order to find analogies with other characters from that category and to link the character to the appropriate themes and plot lines in the narrative. Within that context, the function of the Greek Syrophoenician woman within the plot of Mark should become clearer, in particular, her impact on Jesus and his subsequent actions. I shall explain how to link her with that larger Markan context; namely, how to resolve her character back into the text. 99 C. The Resolution of the Character Back into the Narrative For the purposes of analyzing Mk 7:24-30, the resolution of the character of the Greek Syrophoenician woman shall begin by linking her character indicators to other areas of Mark through vocabulary, sociological relations, and themes. The resolution continues when two of the categories assigned to the character elicit their corresponding Markan analogues; the two significant categories for this character are 'female' and 'Gentile.' These analogues shall link Mk 7:24-30 through the characters and the themes discussed within these analogues. Where deemed significant, I shall also include intertextual analogues to highlight traits or themes connected to the Greek Syrophoenician woman. I shall now briefly discuss the implications of this resolution process by looking at analogues, themes, vocabulary, and sociological relations.40 1. Resolution Through Analogues In Williams' (1994) list of Markan characterization devices, the tenth device is described as 'the narrator highlighting traits through the use of analogy' (65). Analogy is not a separate character indicator, providing information with which to create basic facts about the character; instead, analogy highlights traits that have already been revealed about the character (through both similarities and differences) (Williams 1994, 65; Rimmon-Kenan 1983, 67). When the analogy involves comparing two stories, it becomes a narrative analogue. Analogues are "two or more texts in a narrative that show similarity in plot, character, setting, theme or vocabulary. Through this similarity, the narrator implies a connection and encourages the reader to compare the texts as a way of better understanding each passage . . . . A comparison of analogous episodes in a narrative may reveal important differences which lead to a clearer understanding of each episode" (Williams 1994, 40). The narrator uses analogues for a number of reasons: to 100 highlight variations; to have differences signal new development in character and plot; to emphasize matters important to understanding the story; and to create expectations within the reader of what may happen next (52-54). When the narrator shows two different characters in similar situations, the similarities and differences in their responses emphasize the distinctive traits of both characters (65). This is a less explicit way of providing information about characters, since the reader needs to make inferences concerning the actions and words of both characters. It has been demonstrated that in the Markan scenes involving minor characters the narrator uses repetition and variation (Williams 1994). These scenes emphasize the matters that are important to a proper understanding of the story, most particularly observed through the characterization of these minor characters (52-53). There is a rhetorical function in the flow of the minor character pattern in Mark. Williams looks at how "the order in which Mark introduces different minor characters and their placement within the flow of the plot serves a rhetorical purpose. A careful examination of Mark's order of presenting minor characters shows that he is encouraging a proper response to Jesus while causing the reader to reflect on improper responses to Jesus" (81). It shall be important, therefore, to look at the order of these Markan analogues involving minor characters, particularly in comparing their characterizations with the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. As mentioned in the review of the literature, Derrett (1977) suggests that when there are dissonances or inconsistencies within a Markan story, the interpreter should consider the interaction of the New Testament story with Hebrew Biblical stories; the latter may provide a 'midrashic explanation' for any confusing elements within the former. Analyzing the dissonances and inconsistencies within Mk 7:24-30 with 'midrashic explanations' in mind might 101 prove useful; therefore Hebrew Biblical analogues shall be included. I shall also consider other non-biblical analogues to Mk 7:24-30. 2. Resolution Through Themes In my review of the literature, I began to examine both major and minor themes of Mk 7:24-30. The major Markan themes that do not receive adequate attention in conjunction with this pericope are Gentile portrayal and Gentile mission, and gender. I shall examine these themes to see how the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman influences their development within the larger Markan narrative.41 3. Resolution Through Vocabulary Key-words play a central role in the development of characterization and of thematic argument: when they are purposefully repeated in a particular story, they emphasize a point the narrator is trying to make (often through subtle variations in meaning); when they appear in various parts of the larger narrative, they "connect seemingly disparate episodes" (Alter 1981, 92). The key-words within Mk 7:24-30 have a connection to the Greek Syrophoenician woman. As I mentioned in the review of the literature, these key-words have been analyzed to varying degrees. There are some questions about this vocabulary that are left unanswered after a review of the literature on Mk 7:24-30. What are the cultural differences between Jewish and Greek attitudes to 'dogs'? What are the intertextual and intratextual references to 'first'? What is the literary and socio-historical significance of'Greek' and 'Syrophoenician,' and 'the region of Tyre' (particularly within a Jewish understanding)? Bringing our increased understanding of the woman's character to these questions may help us to answer these concerns. The key-words that are connected to the character indicators of the woman shall be explored in depth when those 102 indicators are investigated in the process of determining her traits; they shall also be discussed during the resolution of her character through narrative analogues. 4. Resolution Through Sociological Relationships Through analyzing the sociological relationships in the Markan story world between males and females, and Jews and Gentiles, the interpreter may better understand the dynamics of the relationship between Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman. b) Male-female relations To fully understand Mk 7:24-30, the interpreter needs to understand how male-female relations factor into the religio-cultural differences between Jesus and the woman. What might have been the different expectations of the two characters in encountering each other? We get some sense of what Jesus' expectations might have been (being Jewish and male), but what might have been the woman's expectations (being Gentile and female)? Are there distinctions between Jewish culture and Greco-Roman culture that may explain either Jesus' rebuff or the bold behaviour of the woman? I shall investigate intratextual, intertextual, and extratextual references to attempt to answer these questions.42 In doing so, I shall pay close attention to both prescriptive laws and also to the actual social reality of male-female relations of the first century. Prescriptive laws against women are found in Judaism; what is found in the Greco-Roman culture? How might their male-female relations be affected if she is from a wealthier class and a free citizen? This a rich area for exploration and, although I shall not attempt to fully mine it in depth for the purposes of this thesis, I shall attempt to point in the direction of where future research is needed. Male-female relations influence how I understand her character indicator as 'a woman,' as well as how I explore these relations within the analogues. 103 b) Jew-Gentile relations The cultural relations between Jesus and the woman play a significant role in Mk 7:24-30. Jew-Gentile relations are important to understand since the Markan gospel suggests that there is a shift in those relations within the Jesus movement, with Mk 7:24-30 being pivotal in the development of Jesus' mission to the Gentiles (Rhoads 1994, 363). In the analogue section of chapter 3,1 shall trace that development by examining the presentation of Gentiles within Mark. The insights from the examination of the analogues to Mk 7:24-30 shall be applied in highlighting traits of the Greek Syrophoenician woman and in resolving the character back into the larger Markan narrative. I l l Summary I have chosen narrative criticism to analyze the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. My specific method of analyzing her characterization focuses on a two-step process. The first step abstracts the character from the text into the story world consciousness of the reader. This involves noticing how the character is inferred from the textual indicators, and analyzing these indicators in their literary and socio-historical contexts. I shall see how the reader may be influenced by this character, iri particular by the speech representation in the scene as well as by other stylistic devices (two-step progression, order of presentation of information, and transitional episodes). This abstraction of the character from the text shall begin to clarify what traits may be attributed to her and how these traits help to categorize her as a character. 104 The second step of the method involves resolving the character back into the text. The resolution occurs through linking the Greek Syrophoenician character to the larger Markan narrative. The various categories in which she can be included connect her to other Markan characters and themes; the stories that include these characters and themes are the analogues to Mk 7:24-30. The analogues link her to themes, significant vocabulary in the story, and sociological relationships (male-female, Jew-Gentile). A thorough investigation into each of these areas is not within the scope of this paper. I shall only attempt to begin to resolve her character back into Mark through two significant categories: female and Gentile. Once I have begun the resolution process, I shall be able to discuss the function this character has not only in Mk 7:24-30, but also in the larger Markan narrative; these discussions shall be included in my conclusions in chapter four. The method that has been laid out in this chapter shall be applied in the next chapter: my analysis of the Markan characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. 105 NOTES Chapter 2 'For a brief history of narrative criticism, see Appendix B. A narrative is "a telling of some true or fictitious event or connected sequence of events, recounted by a narrator to a narratee.... A narrative will consist of a set of events (the story) recounted in a process of narration (or discourse), in which the events are selected and arranged in a particular order" (Baldick 1990, 145). 'Point of view' indicates the "position or vantage-point from which the events of a story seem to be observed and presented to us" (Baldick 1990 173). The point of view most often given in the Gospel of Mark is the narrator's since that text is written in third-person narrative. The Markan narrator is omniscient, reliable, and consistent. 'Standards of judgment' are the ideological aspects revealed in the narrator's point of view; they create a system of values and beliefs that are implicit in how the narrator judges and evaluates the characters and events he presents in the narrative. For a discussion of implied author and implied reader, see Appendix B, n. 1. 4Modern narrators tend to focus on communicating the psychology of the character, rather than on influencing the reader in a certain way. Scholes and Kellog (1966) here define psychology as "a real attempt to reproduce mental verbal process—words deployed in patterns referable not to verbal artistry but to actual thought, focusing not on the audience but on the character" (185). 5When Auerbach (1957) speaks of the 'Greek classics,' he is here referring to the works of Homer (9-10). 6I believe that the characterization in the Gospel of Mark has much in common with the characterization within parts of the Hebrew Bible; this shall become clearer when I discuss Sternberg's (1985) and Alter's (1981) analyses on Hebrew Biblical characterization in the upcoming section, and when I investigate the nuanced characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman in chapter 3. 7For further discussion of the controversy surrounding the use of character analysis, see Appendix C. Q Weeden (1971) uses as the basis for this argument Marrou's book A History of Education in Antiquity (12-14). Marrou believes that interest in character was particularly pronounced in ancient education. This view was held in antiquity, as well, by the Roman historian Livy (59 B.C.E. - 17 C.E.); in the preface to his Ab Urbe Condita (The History of Rome), he says: Here are the questions to which I would have every reader give his close attention —what life and morals were like; through what men and by what policies, in peace and war, empire was established and enlarged; then let him know how ... morals first gave way ... sank lower and lower .... What chiefly makes the study of history wholesome and profitable is this, 106 Chapter 2 that you behold lessons of every kind of experience set forth as on a conspicuous monument; from these you may choose for yourself and for your own state what to imitate, from these mark for avoidance, what is shameful in the conception and shameful in the result. (15) For a summary of Weeden's views, see Malbon (1989, 260-261). 9Although it is impossible to know whether the real author and the real reader of first century would have had a Hellenistic education, it is reasonable to assume that they might have, since Greek influence was felt in both Jewish and Roman cultures throughout the Mediterranean region. 10For example, Rhoads and Michie, Malbon, and Rhoads all use Forster's 'flat' and 'round' categories for characters (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 102-103; Rhoads 1982, 417; Rhoads 1994, 349; Malbon 1989, 277, 280; Malbon 1992, 29). "Forster (1974) provides an example of a character going from being flat to round to flat again when he discusses Lady Bertram in Jane Austen's novel Persuasion: "[Lady Bertram] has in a single sentence been inflated into a round character and collapsed back into a flat one" (51). l2Hochman (1985) also questions the distinction between round and fiat characters: "It seems to me that the sharp dichotomy that we tend to posit between the richness and 'roundness' of our subjectivity and the schematism and reductiveness of our perception of others is as fallacious (if also as convenient at times) as the dichotomy between round characters and flat ones, or between tragic characters and comic ones. For it seems to me that we 'read' ourselves as we 'read' others" (44). Although some character theorists have insisted on the type origins of characters in literature and the individual nature of people in life, Hochman argues that we categorize people in life just as we do people in literature (45). Chatman (1978) bases his ideas about traits on psychologist Gordon W. Allport's trait theory (125). l4The idea of distinguishing between 'homo fictus' and 'homo sapiens' is found earlier in Forster's 1927 lectures (1974, 38-39). 1 5An epithet is "an adjective or other descriptive word expressing a quality or attribute, especially used with or as a name" (Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 8th ed., s.v. "epithet"). l6Tannehill's (1979) work, The Gospel of Mark as Narrative Christology, builds from the ideas in his (1977) article, "The Disciples in Mark: The Function of a Narrative Role." In that article, Tannehill observes that what the narrator reveals to the reader about the disciples provokes the reader into self-evaluation (389, 405). 17For further discussion of findings about Markan minor characters, see Appendix C. 'Showing' is a convenient term, but it is not completely accurate, since the narrator is not really 'showing' the character to us (as one could in film for example), but is instead representing the character by various degrees of telling (Rimmon-Kenan 1983, 108). Rhoads' 107 Chapter 2 'telling' and Rirnmon-Kenan's direct presentation, and Rhoads' 'showing' and Rimmon-Kenan's indirect presentation, express similar ideas (Rimmon-Kenan 1983, 59; Rhoads 1982, 417). 19Analyses of Markan characters include the following: Jesus, the authorities, the disciples, and minor characters as a group (Rhoads and Michie 1982); the disciples (Tannehill, 1977); the disciples and the crowd (Malbon 1986), and Jewish leaders (Malbon 1989); Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman (Rhoads 1994). For a discussion of the crowds, see Malbon (1986); Williams (1994). For works on those involved with healings, see Rhoads and Michie (1982); Dewey (1993); Rhoads (1994). Williams (1994) also provides a useful survey of recent research on minor characters in general (13-14). General analysis of biblical characterization can be found in Semeia 63 (specifically the articles by Bach, Burnett, Fowler, and Rashkow). For a survey of approaches to character among literary critics in general in the twentieth century, see Hochman (1985, 13-40). 20The direct use of an adjective in describing a character is fine when it comes from a reliable source, such as the narrator, but may be questionable when it comes from an unreliable source within the narrative. 9 I To arrive at these eleven Markan characterization devices, Williams (1994) expands on Rhoads' and Michie's (1982) views and includes ideas from Tannehill (1979) and Rimmon-Kenan (1983). 2 2As mentioned in the review of the literature, irony is also used in Mk 7:24-30; this stylistic device has already been adequately explored in chapter 1. Rhoads (1994) includes a number of examples of two-step progressions in Mark: "when it was evening, when the sun set" (1:32); "everywhere, throughout the whole country" (1:28); "outside, in deserted places" (1:45); "to the other side, to Gennesaret" (6:53); "in Bethany, at the house of Simon the Leper" (14:3) (353). "Such two-step progressions pervade every level of the narrative" (353). See chapter 1 n. 64 for Rhoads and Michie's discussion of how two-step progression of the narrator's introduction to Jesus, 'the anointed one, the son of God' (1:1), sets up the structure of the whole narrative (1982, 104-105). 24Williams (1994) draws from Sternberg's (1985) character analysis of the Hebrew Scriptures to understand how the order of presentation can affect the reader's perception of Markan minor characters (Williams 1994, 42, 56). 9 S Alter (1981) mentions how biblical narrative does not use fixed epithets ('sagacious Moses') but uses instead relational epithets ('daughter of Saul') (126); this seems to hold true also for the Markan narrative, although there are occasions where other descriptive words are used for a character. Sternberg (1985) mentions that "the action figures as vital bridge or mediating term between direct and indirect characterization: the need to make psychological sense of it, whether as scenario or as accomplished fact, impels the interpreter to look around for features that will close in retrospect the gaps of character left open by the initial exposition" (344). 108 Chapter 2 z/Rhoads and Michie's (1982) comment seems to support this view: "The narrator of Mark's story cleverly reveals the characters in such a way that the readers are constantly expanding or shifting their impressions of those characters as the story develops" (103). For Williams (1994), the pivotal scene is with blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52), who he sees as being first negatively and then very positively portrayed (203). After that point, the minor characters are portrayed more positively than the disciples. In the final section, however, the minor characters are not positively portrayed either (such as the group of women who run away and tell no one of what they have seen in the tomb after Jesus' death) (Mark 16:1-8). 9Q For historical background to speech representation theory, see Appendix C. I used the terms 'direct speech' and 'indirect speech' in chapter 1, and up until this point in chapter two. After having introduced Tannen's (1986) terms of 'first-person dialogue' and 'third-person dialogue' I shall use these terms from this point on in the paper. I use the term 'speech representation' as a general term for all speech within a narrative, including when speech is only implied rather than articulated. 3lGenette (1980) uses other labels for the two forms of speech already described by Tannen (1986): transposed speech and reported speech (Genette 1980, 71). Transposed speech is another term for third-person dialogue and reported speech is another term for first-person dialogue. 19 Deictics include expressions such as the following: 'now,' 'today,' 'tomorrow,' 'here,' in first-person dialogue; these become 'then,' 'that day,' 'the next day,' 'there,' in third-person dialogue. Rimmon-Kenan's (1983) analysis is from English novels, but these basic linguistic features of speech representation also apply to the Koine Greek that is used in the Gospel of Mark. Banfield (1973) also includes constructions that appear in first-person dialogue only: incomplete sentences, and speech in a different language or dialect from the introductory clause (6). Li (1986) simplifies the differences between first-person dialogue and third-person dialogue to three essentials: pronouns change; tenses change; and the complimentizer 'that' may be included in third-person dialogue only (29). Speech act theorists refer to what sentences intend to do as the illocutionary aspect and what the sentences in fact do as the perlocutionary aspect (Chatman 1978, 161). Although I have chosen to use narrative method, speech act theory is applicable within a discussion of dialogue within narrative. It is not within the purview of this paper to apply speech act theory to Mk 7:24-30, but simply to consider how this basic premise affects the dialogue within this narrative. 34The observation that first-person dialogue comes at the peak of folk narratives comes from the project "Study of Discourse from Folk literature in Aboriginal Languages of Columbia, Panama, and Ecuador" (in Li 1986, 40). Although such a conclusion about folk literature from another region must be applied with caution to the New Testament gospels, it is worthwhile considering whether this observation does apply in the case of Mk 7:24-30. Both Li's (1986) and Tannen's (1986) linguistical analyses of folk literature have some implications for analyses of New Testament gospel narratives. Meier (1992), who analyzes the use of first-person dialogue in the Hebrew Bible, refers to both the work of Li and Tannen to 109 Chapter 2 support his understanding of first-person dialogue (4). The pronounced role that first-person dialogue plays in Hebrew biblical literature is seen in other semantic literature, such as Akkadian and Ugaritic (5). Auerbach (1957) sees a connection between Hebrew Biblical and New Testament use of speech representation (40); see Appendix C for his point of view. Since the Hebrew Biblical storytelling is one of the influences on the New Testament gospels, and since Li's and Tannen's analyses have been applied to Hebrew Biblical speech representation, I believe it is acceptable to apply their findings about speech representation to these gospels and see how useful they are. 3 5 An ellipsis is when something is left out of the sentence, forcing the reader/hearer to supply part of the meaning. A copula is a connecting word, especially a part of the verb 'be,' which connects a subject and predicate (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 8th ed., s.v. "copula"). These typical features come from an analysis of modern Greek storytelling, but some of these features also apply to the ancient Greek storytelling found in Mk 7:24-30. For that reason, they are included in my method. 36Jesus often uses words to effect miracles and healings (i.e., 1:25, 41; 2:5, 11; 3:5; 4:39; 5:8, 41; 7:34; 9:25; 11:14,21). 37"Jesus speaks appreciably more often to men—an average of 2.1 times versus 1.33 times to the women" (Dewey 1997, 55). - i n For Williams (1994), Bartimaeus is the major transitional figure, but he also lists others: "At the transition between Jesus' work in Galilee and the beginning if his travel to Jerusalem, Jesus heals the blind man of Bethsaida. At the transition between Jesus' journey to Jerusalem and his arrival in that city, Bartimaeus receives his sight and follows Jesus. At the beginning of Mark's passion narrative, a woman anoints Jesus' head with costly perfume. At the end of Mark's Gospel, after the desertion of the disciples and after the death and resurrection of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome come to the empty tomb" (13-14). Although Williams does not identify the Greek Syrophoenician woman as a transitional figure, Rhoads (1994) does. As mentioned in the review of the literature, he believes that the Greek Syrophoenician woman is the pivotal character in Jesus' transition to a Gentile mission (36). As mentioned earlier, Forster's (1974) categorization system for characters has been adopted by several New Testament scholars (e.g., Rhoads and Michie 1982; Rhoads 1982, 1994; and Malbon 1989,1992, 1994). 4 0I shall not be discussing forms at this time, but shall leave it for future research. As mentioned in chapter 1, the form that merits further investigation is the type-scene. Rhoads (1994) has already discussed the use of the type-scene of healing in Mk 7:24-30 (349-352). The type-scene of the controversy dialogue is an area for future research. 4'interpreters of Mk 7:24-30 use a variety of words when describing the ideas and events that recur during the text of the Gospel of Mark: plot, subject, theme, motif. There is no consistent use of these terms within narrative criticism. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms supplies definitions for these terms, and I shall provide illustrations from the Gospel of Mark, when appropriate (Baldick 1990). 'Plot' refers to the "pattern of events and situations in a narrative . . . as selected and arranged both to emphasize relationships—usually 110 Chapter 2 cause and effect—between incidents and to elicit a particular kind of interest in the reader . . . the plot is the selected version of events as presented to the reader or audience in a certain order and duration" (170). A 'plot line' follows the events of certain characters or certain types of events. For example, Rhoads (1994) identifies the three main plot lines in Mark: "Jesus in conflict with suppliants and demons; Jesus in conflict with the authorities; and Jesus in conflict with his disciples" (346); Mk 7:24-30 is an episode within the plot line of "Jesus in conflict with suppliants and demons." The 'subject' of the work is described concretely in terms of its action. In the Gospel of Mark, the subject is Jesus proclaiming the good news of the "establishment of God's rule over the world" (345). While 'subject' is described concretely, the works' 'themes' are described in more abstract terms. 'Theme' refers to a "salient abstract idea that emerges from a literary work's treatment of its subject-matter. . . . The theme of a work may be announced explicitly, but more often it emerges indirectly through the recurrence of motifs" (Baldick 1990, 225). 'Motif refers to "a situation, incident, idea, image, or character-type that is found in many different literary works, folktales, or myths; or any element of a work that is elaborated into a more general theme" (142). There is a term related to 'motif,' namely, 'leitmotif (meaning a 'leading motif): "Where an image, incident, or other element is repeated significantly within a single work, it is more commonly referred to as a leitmotif (142, 121). There are many themes, motifs, and leitmotifs within Mark, although they have rarely been discussed using these terms. I have categorized those ideas to which interpreters have referred in their reviews of Mk 7:24-30, as 'themes,' since they address abstract ideas that come out of the subject-matter; 'motifs' and 'leitmotifs' also seem to appear within some themes, and I have already commented on some of these during the discussion of the themes in the review of the literature. 42Extratextual refers to non-textual materials; these materials may illuminate information from the original text (without the narrator implying that reference). In this case, such extratextual resources are provided by archaeological finds from around that era (e.g., epitaphs and inscriptions). I l l CHAPTER 3 AN ANALYSIS OF THE MARKAN CHARACTERIZATION OF THE GREEK SYROPHOENICIAN WOMAN Perhaps the most apt description of the Greek Syrophoenician woman in Mk 7:24-30 is that "we know at once very little and a lot about her" (Ringe 1985, 70-71). Some analyses have been done on minor characters, particularly those that appear in groups (such as the crowds, and those characters involved with healings).1 As seen in the review of the literature in chapter 1, some commendable work has been done on Mk 7:24-30, and on the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman (particularly in Rhoads 1994). The field has not, however, been exhausted. By analyzing the Greek Syrophoenician woman's characterization, I hope to shed light on some of the subtleties that have yet to be adequately explained. I shall examine in detail what is known about her and what else can be discovered about this remarkable female character. My analysis of the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman is conducted in two parts. The first part is the abstraction of the character from the text. The second part is the resolution of that character back into the text. I. The Abstraction of the Character of the Greek Syrophoenician Woman from M k 7:24-30 A. The Character Indicators in Mk 7:24-30 By looking at the process of Markan characterization, I shall extract the character indicators concerning the Greek Syrophoenician woman from Mk 7:24-30. I shall search out the character indicators in this section, and discuss the full implications of these indicators in the following section on traits. 112 1. Markan Characterization Devices According to Williams' (1994) analysis, the Markan narrator uses eleven literary devices for characterization (60-67). The list of these devices begins with the most explicit devices for characterization and goes to the most implicit devices. The Markan narrator uses seven of these eleven devices in his characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman.2 Two of the seven devices used shall be discussed later. The device about the order of presentation of information in the narrative shall be discussed when the indicators are placed in their literary and socio-historical contexts. Since the use of analogy as a device only highlights existing traits, I shall discuss that device once her traits have been established. Five characterization devices remain to be discussed at this point. a) The narrator indirectly expresses an evaluation (without an adjective) The Markan narrator indirectly communicates to the reader what the character is like by using a grammatical construction other than an adjective. The narrator's evaluation advances the plot as well as the characteristics of the person. Often when a character is first introduced, Mark gives a brief introduction, conveying information about the character without directly stating his/her character traits (Williams 1994, 62). In Mk 7:24-30, the narrator describes the character in two ways: as yvvn ... r\g sixev TO Ovyarpwv avrng nvevpa a/ca0apTOv(ia woman . . . whose little daughter had an unclean spirit'); and as n yovrj nvEAAnvig, Evpo^)oiviKi<7<ja rat ysvsi ('the woman was Greek, Syrophoenician by race').3 Since there was a previous scene with parents who have sick children (Jairus, his wife, and their daughter 5:21-24, 35-43), as well as scenes with people who had unclean spirits (1:21-28; 3:10-12; 5:1-20), the reader has some context for the first description of the woman. This first description includes information about the woman's only social relation: she is the mother of a daughter.4 113 There is not, however, much that is explicit in the text to show an evaluation of what it means for the woman to be Greek and Syrophoenician. The narrator mentions these indicators only once about the woman, and no other Markan character is described by these terms. The narrator often includes concrete details about the character that are not needed for the plot (what might initially be considered unnecessary detail) (Dewey 1997, 53-54).5 The narrator includes excess description of the woman by stating that she is "not only Greek, but a Syrophoenician by birth" (Dewey 1997, 56). Why does the narrator include both adjectives, when one of the two adjectives would make it clear enough that she is Gentile? These two adjectives are "indispensable since otherwise verses 25 and 26 say the same thing—they stress the role of the mother in a typical motherly role as protector of the child and mediator of help" (Pokorny 1995, 323). Mk 7:26 provides the two most concrete and unique features of this character: she is Greek and Syrophoenician. b) Another character indirectly evaluates a character (with a grammatical structure other than an adjective) In Mk 7:24-30, Jesus is the only character who indirectly evaluates the woman's character, and he does so twice. The first time is when he compares this Gentile woman and her daughter to dogs (through a metaphor, rather than an adjective). The second time is when he says that due to her words she can go home, the demon has left her daughter. When another character (Jesus) evaluates the character in question (the Greek Syrophoenician woman), it is important to consider the reliability of the speaker, since his reliability may influence how he describes her character. His words must be weighed against who he is and what his relationship is with the character in question. Jesus is seen as a reliable character, so his words about the other characters are usually regarded as trustworthy (Tannehill 1977, 391; Rhoads and Michie 1982, 40; Williams 1994, 92). What he says about the Greek Syrophoenician woman, therefore, 114 would influence the reader's understanding of her moral nature.6 Jesus begins by comparing the woman unfavourably to a dog. Since the woman does not dispute Jesus' reference to her as a dog, it appears to the reader that his comparison may have some merit. The woman shows, however, that what it means to be a dog is somewhat different to what Jesus thinks. The second thing Jesus says to her ('For saying that, go home, the demon has left your daughter') makes it clear that the woman's words have had an impact on his opinion of her, and he is now willing to help her. This is the only time in Mark when Jesus' reliability, although not damaged, is compromised. The woman's response to Jesus indicates to the reader that Jesus does not always have access to the complete picture (i.e., who the dogs are and their place in God's household). The reader must weigh what Jesus initially says about the woman and recognize the change in Jesus' opinion of her, and the reader must also shift his/her own opinion of her. The woman's moral nature in Jesus' eyes (and in the eyes of the reader) has changed from being thought of as an unclean scavenger, to an accepted member of the household who has access to its life-giving sustenance. c) Another character evaluates a character through a drastic action The drastic action is the distance healing that occurs through Jesus (the only example of a distance healing in Mark). Often, deeds versus words communicate one character's understanding of another. In this particular case, the drastic action is not explicitly shown, but is implied in Jesus' response (Mk 7:29). This healing occurs due to Jesus' acceptance of the woman's portrayal of the children and the dogs in her metaphor.7 Jesus' drastic action indicates the extent to which he is positively influenced by the woman's words and actions. 115 d) The narrator shows traits through presenting the character's actions In Mk 7:24-30, the narrator describes the woman's actions in the following words: 1. aKovaaaa yvvrj nepi avrov ('after having heard about him') (7:25) 2. eAOovaa ('and having come') (7:25) 3. npooeneaev npoq xovq nodaq avrov ('prostrated herself at his feet') (7:25) 7 S 7 \ 4. Tjpcora «t>rov('she asked him') (7:26) 5. rj de aneKpiOt] rcai Xeyei aura) ('but she answered, and she said to him') (7:28) 6. anekOovaa eiq rov OIKOV('after having gone away to her house') (7:30) 7. evpevro naiSiov BefiXnpevovem rrjv tcAivnv('she found the child having been thrown onto the bed') (7:30) The reader must make inferences about the woman's traits when the narrator 'shows' rather than 'tells' traits about her through her actions. Although it is possible at this point to discuss some of the traits that can be inferred by her actions, I shall leave that discussion until her character indicators have been placed within their literary and socio-historical contexts in the following section. e) The narrator shows traits through presenting the character's speech The narrator has the woman speaking in two instances. The first time, what she says is given indirectly by the narrator, as third-person dialogue. At that point, the narrator indicates that npcoza auzov iva TO Siapoviov eicflaXrj etc rrjq Goyarpoq avrnq ('she asked him whether he might cast the demon out of her daughter') (7:26). In response to Jesus' metaphor about the children and the dogs, the woman answers in first-person dialogue: Kvpie • xai ra Kvvapia VKOKaTCO rnq zpane^ijq eavwvoiv ano rcov y/ixicov rcov 7raiSia>v(iSir, even the dogs under the table eat from the children's scraps') (7:28). By what the woman says, it is clear 116 that she understands Jesus' metaphor, and that she is able to use it to her own advantage. What she says changes Jesus' mind, because when he replies to the woman, he has agreed to help her: Aia TOUTOV TOV Aoyov vnaye, s^sArjAvdsvSK rrjg dvyarpog aov TO Saijuoviov('For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter') (Mk 7:29). Since what she says has changed Jesus' mind, and since her speech as a female is so unique within Mark, it is worthy of detailed analysis. I shall discuss it in the section on traits. These five characterization devices indicate that the most explicit information given by the narrator is that the woman has a daughter with an unclean spirit and that the woman is Greek and Syrophoenician. The descriptors Greek and Syrophoenician are her most concrete features. Having Jesus refer to the woman as a dog seems initially like a reliable evaluation; the implications of being a dog, .however, change. Since Jesus changes his mind and heals the woman's daughter, her actions and particularly her words have an impact on him. 2. Mimetic Development Relatively speaking, for a minor female character, the Greek Syrophoenician woman is well-developed mimetically. Three of the four criteria that measure the mimetic development of a character apply to the woman in Mk 7:24-30: the quantity of information provided about the character, the inclusion of concrete detail about that character, and the use of direct speech by the o character (Dewey 1997, 53-54). Mk 7:24-30 is fairly typical of stories with mimetic development. For a minor character, there is a fair amount of information provided about the woman (56). Besides the concrete details of her being Greek and Syrophoenician, there is much about the character that can be inferred by her actions, her words, and Jesus' reaction to her. The criterion that really sets this character apart within Mark is the use of first-person dialogue. As mentioned in chapter 1, the mimetic emphasis for the woman's character is on her speech (Dewey 1997, 56). Because of the mimetic development of this character, the reader becomes 117 involved in the story. When the reader does get involved, that character becomes influential within the narrative (53-54). Given the androcentric bias of mimetic development in Mark, this mimetically-developed woman is worthy of notice. The inferences the reader can make about the woman, and her impact on that larger narrative, shall be discussed in this next section. Having applied different types of methods for analyzing the characterization of the Greek Syrophoenician woman in Mk 7:24-30,1 have extracted her character indicators. These character indicators shall be evaluated to discover what they communicate about the traits of this woman. B. The Character Traits of the Greek Syrophoenician Woman The narrator may provide the reader with traits about a character, both directly and indirectly. In the case of the woman in Mk 7:24-30, no traits are provided directly, either by the narrator or by another character. Traits are only arrived at indirectly by the reader through analyzing the character indicators; this analysis is furthered by placing these indicators within a larger literary and socio-historical context. The following character indicators are examined: a woman; a woman with a daughter who has an unclean spirit; Greek; Syrophoenician by race; dogs (and their relation to the children who eat first); the actions of the woman; and the speech of the woman. 1. Turning Character Indicators into Character Traits a) A woman How does it affect the story for this character to be a woman? To understand Jesus' responses to her, and her responses to him, the reader should understand the social relations of men and woman in the first century, both within Jewish and the Gentile cultures and within the 118 Markan story world. What would be a first-century reader's expectations of how a Jewish male might react to a Gentile woman, or how a Gentile woman might react to a Jewish male? In the first century, patriarchy existed, with males generally given superior status and therefore having more power than females. The issue in Greco-Roman cultural constructions of gender is not so much the equality between the sexes (although men certainly believed only men were their equals); the issue is the role assigned to each sex: "To go outside the limits of these predetermined social roles is to risk disapproval and rejection by the very people upon whose approval the person depends not only for affirmation but for identity" (Osiek and Balch 1997, 41).9 For a Greek woman to approach a foreigner, she would be stepping outside expectations of her social role within her own culture. The woman in Mk 7:24-30 would not be alone in doing so. There are instances even in that time period of outstanding women who broke the molds that society tried to impose on them.10 The laws were changing so that positions available to women were being expanded, particularly for free-born citizen women of the upper classes who were heads of their own households.11 As has been mentioned, it is important to look beyond the prescriptive laws to other kinds of evidence: "There is no doubt from literary and epigraphical evidence that women participated fully and publicly in Greco-Roman society, even as more conservative male voices tried to pretend they did not. They were not invisible, but on the contrary, very visible, even as the language of male discourse and political structures tried not to acknowledge that visibility, but rather to render women socially invisible" (Osiek and Balch 1997, 58). In Greco-Roman cities, there are instances of women who were upwardly mobile (through marriage and trade), serving as founders and patrons of men's clubs and being involved with religious cults (Meeks 1983, 23).12 So, although women might have been considered inferior in nature and subordinate in status in Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian prescriptive evidence, there is descriptive evidence that some upper-class women were independent and had status and influence. Since the Greek Syrophoenician woman is portrayed as being from the 119 upper class, perhaps this explains her bold behaviour with Jesus. Although she might have been stepping outside the boundaries of the typical social role for a woman of her culture, her upper-class status might have made such confident, independent behaviour part of her regular experience. A first-century reader would perhaps not have been surprised by Jesus' initial reaction to the Gentile woman. Within the Jewish tradition, women were generally subservient to men. As far as gender differences under Jewish law and custom, "in virtually every case the female comes off worse than the male" (Harris 1984, 70).13 In the Hebrew Bible, there are both positive and negative depictions of women; mostly they are negative, with relatively few positive examples (Harris 1984, 33-35). A woman's place is often: to accept being inferior; to bear children and bring them up well; and to be commodities (to be given away in marriage, owned outside of marriage, and offered up as sex objects for others' use and abuse) (Harris 1984). Although there are occasionally women presented who are: "brave, strong, wise, fair and pious, the bible tends to highlight other characteristics when it comes to concentrate on women.. . . [I]t is much more the case that women are portrayed as stupid, as having a marked propensity to nag and prattle, as weak and cowardly, and as possessing an evil influence and power capable of leading men astray. They are also variously depicted as potentially evil, as the source of filth and sin, as the curse of the world." (Harris 1984, 77)14 There is even a rabbinical Jewish prayer "by which a man expressed gratitude to God for being made neither Gentile nor woman nor [poor]/slave" (Osiek and Balch 1997, 56).15 Being both Gentile and female would have put the woman in Mk 7:24-30 even lower in status within Jewish culture. Within a Jewish male mind-set, the Greek Syrophoenician woman in Mk 7:24-30 was at a distinct disadvantage when she approached Jesus: "Jewish men were supposed to avoid contact with women, who were seen to pose a threat of seduction. Even conversation with one was dangerous: 'Meet not a strange woman, lest you fall into her nets.... By the comeliness of a woman many have been ruined' (Sir. 9:3-9)" (Gundry-Volf 1995, 509). This passage does not 120 forbid men to talk to women in general, but suggests that they keep away from strange, loose, adulterous women (Prv 2:16-19, and 5-7). Since Jews were discouraged from marrying foreigners, contact with foreign women would of course have been discouraged as well, since they were often seen as the cause of men being led away from devotion to Yahweh (Brenner 1985 117, 94).16 Jesus, as a Jewish male, would have been discouraged from speaking to a foreign woman. What is understandable from Hebrew Biblical influence is the depiction of Jesus' recognition and acceptance of wise words and positive influence from a woman. In the relatively few positive depictions of women in Hebrew Biblical literary tradition, women are "[plrophetesses, female writers, female orators, and female public leaders" (Brenner 1985, 132).17 Of the various positive literary types in the Hebrew Bible, those of the wise woman and the foreign woman are most applicable when examining Mk 7:24-30. The wise women are known for their "good sense, rhetorical prowess, psychological insight, and involvement in the life of their community" (2 Sm 14; 20:14-22) (44-45).18 The literary type of the 'foreign woman' has both positive and negative representations: "the two versions share some basic features of circumstances and behaviour, but differ in motivation and conduct" (90).19 The positive representation of the foreign woman is a husbandless foreigner who wants male offspring and is a successful manipulator of men (e.g., Ruth, Tamar, Jael, and Lot's daughters). The negative presentation of the foreign woman is one who is a married adulterer (motivated by lust and/or foreign fertility cult practices) and who is not always successful in trying to manipulate men (e.g., Pontiphar's wife, the foreign woman from Proverbs, and Samson's wives). In looking at the implications of these types for Mk 7:24-30, given the hostility between the regions of Tyre and Galilee (Theissen 1991, 61-80), it appears that the Markan narrator initially affiliates the Greek Syrophoenician woman with the negative presentation of the foreign woman. The foreign woman as a negative prototype is the kind of woman who is depicted as being 121 immoral, corrupt, and corrupting, and who is a faithless liar (Brenner 1985, 44). The wise women who are in the Hebrew Bible and the type of the foreign woman share one trait: "persuasive eloquence" (45). The negative Hebrew Biblical presentations of foreign women provide examples of why Jesus might have initially been suspicious of this foreign woman in Mark; the positive presentations of the foreign women and the wise women provide examples of why Jesus allowed himself to be persuaded by her eloquence once it was clear that she was not going to lead him astray (sexually or religiously). In the Hebrew Bible, there are cases of women approaching men and speaking to them first (even if they has a husband): in the case with the married Shunamitess, she approaches the prophet Elisha herself and invites him to have a meal and then to stay with them whenever he passes that way (2 Kgs 4:8-9). For a woman to go out without her husband's knowledge and without a chaperon "is a measure of her status and relative independence" (39).20 Besides these positive intertextual examples, there are also extratextual examples of Jewish women's independence and positive influence. As within Greco-Roman sources, Christian and Jewish sources provide examples of women as leaders of households and religious groups as well as benefactresses (Burrus 1992, 240). The Jewish legal texts that provide negative connotations of women use "prescriptive language" (providing idealized standards) rather than "descriptive language," which is found, for example, in letter fragments and ancient economic texts (240). These literary and socio-historical contexts help to inform the interpreter about the various responses possible within the Markan story world, making it understandable why, once the woman has shown herself to be worthy, Jesus can assist her. As to Mk 7:24-30 specifically, Ringe (1985) believes that "according to the customs of first-century Palestinian society, this woman should have been invisible. No Jewish man, especially one with a religious task or vocation, expected to be approached by a woman (Jew or Gentile), except perhaps by one of the many lone women reduced to prostitution to support 122 themselves" (70). Although Ringe's comments hold true for first-century women in general, what she says does not take into account the sources of these comments and the exceptions within women's roles. The prescriptive texts describe what the expected role of women should be (in both Jewish and Greco-Roman societies). The descriptive evidence shows the exceptions to these roles. These exceptions occur in both Greek and Jewish cultures (in stories and in life): in Greco-Roman culture, with upper-class women especially; and in Jewish culture, with women who are inspired by their God. Distinctions must be made between what was expected of women within the two cultures. Perhaps Jesus, as a Jewish male, would not have been expecting a Gentile woman to approach him. For an upper-class Greek woman, it might not have been such an unusual action. The Greek Syrophoenician woman, as do many characters in Mark (including Jesus), steps outside predetermined social roles to get what she believes is necessary for healing. The reader is given a clue that she has stepped outside those boundaries when Jesus initially refuses to assist her and her daughter. It is also clear, in examples within Mark as well as within other literature of that time, women were known to be independent, intelligent, and influential. b) A woman with a daughter who has an unclean spirit Within the Markan context, this story is about the marginality of those that Jesus included, "the dregs of the dregs": "The one who here seeks Jesus is not only a Gentile, not only a woman. She is also presented without the respectability of a husband, and as the mother not of a son, but of a daughter, a condition sometimes so lamented in the ancient world that people who only had daughters were considered childless" (Kraemer 1992, 133). Under Jewish law, "a mother takes twice as long to become purified when she gives birth to a daughter than she does when she gives birth to a son" (Lv. 12:1-5) (Harris 1984, 74). A daughter was a liability, costing money (i.e., for a dowry), and was considered troublesome until she could be married off to a 123 suitable husband (Ringe 1985, 70). Having a woman entreating for help on behalf of another female would have put the Greek Syrophoenician woman at "a double gender disadvantage in the context of male-female relations of the day" (Gundry-Volf 1995, 519). Yet these social conditions do not deter the woman from going to great lengths to get healing for her daughter, including accepting being labeled a 'dog' and having to convince the healer that she and her daughter were worthy of his attention and help. She shows herself to be a concerned mother, persistent in her quest for help for her daughter, and ingenious in her ability to convince the healer to help them. c) Greek The woman's foreignness is certainly one of the central features of her character within the story: she is not what Jesus is. She is not only foreign in the sense that she is non-Jewish (that is, Gentile), but she is described as both Greek and Syrophoenician. Although most scholars believe that the term 'EXXnviqinforms the reader that the woman is a Gentile, this term holds other connotations as well.21 Due to the Hellenization of the ancient world by Alexander the Great (from 338 to 146 B.C.E.), the term 'Greek' "became somewhat of a cultural designation, referring to anyone who accepted Greek culture and spoke the language" even if they were of a different ethnic origin; the Greek language "was the lingua franca of the empire from the time of Alexander to Constantine, replacing the Aramaic tongue used by the Persians" (John McRay, "Greece," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary). In the Greek cities that arose in Syria and Israel, the upper strata spoke Greek; it was also the language of trade and eventually was used by some in the lower classes as well (H. Bietenhard, "EXXTJV" in The New International 9 9 Dictionary of the New Testament). Mk 7:26 is the only time the Markan narrator describes any s 23 character as 'EXXnvig ('Greek'). In this instance, the expression is "ambiguous": 124 it may denote the non-Jewish, Greek language and civilization of the locality and of the woman herself. Or it may be a religious term for a Gentile, whether a Greek or a Hellenized Syrophoenician.... In any case, the non-Jewish descent of the woman is emphasized (Mk 7:27f). Since Mark does not use the term again, it is hard to decide the question. We may simply say that the sense of Gentile is suggested, and if so, this is the oldest example of this specific use. Nevertheless, the ethnographical interpretation is more likely.24 Downing (1992) thinks that '"EXXrjvig probably indicates social status, too; from a free citizen family" (138). The New Testament evangelists use the term 'EXXrjvig in different ways: as non-Jews who are believers in the one true God; as Gentiles who are polytheists; and as Jews 26 who come from the Diaspora. There seems to be support for various ways of understanding the term. It seems unlikely that Greek is meant solely as a term for Gentile; it does, however, clearly mean a person of Greek culture and speech. The reader is told by the narrator that the woman is Greek. How does Jesus know that she is Greek? Is it because she acts and dresses as an upper-class woman would, or is it because she speaks Greek to him? The reader is not told. Would being Greek provide a reason for a Jewish male to rebuff a woman? Not necessarily, since Hellenization influenced Judaism as well. Although Hellenistic Judaism rejected the mythology and cult of the Hellenes, it appropriated the language, philosophy, and external culture; besides the Greek translation of the Bible (the Septuagint), there was permission within the Jewish community to learn Greek, read 9 7 Homer, and assimilate Greek wisdom. Is it possible that Jesus also spoke Greek and was familiar with Greek philosophy? If he was, he would have been able to converse with her in Greek and may have been able to identify her as a Cynic (if she was one). Mk 7:24-30 does not provide any explicit answers to these questions. I agree that the non-Jewish descent of the woman is definitely emphasized and that her language, religion, and social status may also be indicated by this term. The Markan narrator describes the woman as both Greek and Syrophoenician to make it clear that, although she was Syrophoenician by birth, she was one of those 'Hellenes' of the upper class, a free citizen who 125 would be educated in Greek culture and language, and possibly also a follower of some Greek religion. The potential causes for conflict between Jesus and the woman would have been social status and religious affiliation. The woman was of the upper class and Jesus was an itinerant preacher (Theissen 1991, 79). If the woman had heard about Jesus and his healing powers, she would probably have been aware of his religious affiliation. Did Jesus wonder whether she recognized as the ultimate authority the God of the Israelites or one of the Greek gods? It is possible that the social and religious differences between the woman and Jesus are emphasized through the use of the term 'Greek,' but do they completely explain why Jesus would refuse to heal her daughter? He had dealt with others of the upper class (Jairus) and had healed other Gentiles (the crowds in Mk 3:8 and the Gerasene demoniac). There must be other reasons why he would not assist her. Perhaps combining these insights from the term 'Greek' with those about the term 'Syrophoenician in race' shall provide the reasons. d) Syrophoenician by race Iupo(/>oiviKi<TO~a T(p ysvsi ('Syrophoenician by race') is the only mention of Syrophoencia in Mark (7:26).28 "Her birth information [being Syrophoenician from the region of Tyre] is given because to ancient readers it encoded all of the status information necessary to understand interactions with her" (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1992, 225, 192). Phoenicia was the Greek name for the land along the coast north of Israel comprising part of the Roman province of Syria (Malbon 1992, 44).29 "Phoenicia was neither a country not a nation but a conglomerate of city-states that was distinguished from adjacent areas by its habitual outreach into the Mediterranean world and by its preferred dealings with Indo-Europeans and Greeks. Its history consists in the contribution of these individual cities and their dominions to the civilization and gradual maturation of the Mediterranean world" (Brian Peckham, "Phoenicia, History of," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary). Syrophoenicia was "noted for its 126 antiquity, wealth and civilization, which had remained practically independent of Jewish, Greek, and Assyrian rule, though subject to the Romans since the time of Augustus" (Gould 1961, 30 134). As I mentioned in the review of the literature, little is thought of the woman being described as 'Syrophoenician by race,' except to emphasize that she is a local inhabitant, likely a Gentile, and able to speak Aramaic (just as Jesus did) (Theissen 1991, 69).31 The woman would have been bilingual, and it is quite possible that Jesus himself was bilingual as well (Greek and Aramaic). It is possible that the reason she is described as Syrophoenician is to show that she could speak the same language as Jesus (Aramaic); it also reinforces her being Gentile. The need for the Gentile suppliant to speak the same language as Jesus does not come up, however, in any of the other healings with Gentiles. Jesus even uses Aramaic while healing the deaf man in the Decapolis region (7:34). It does not seem to me that language is the only reason to describe her as Syrophoenician, since it seems common to have people who were bilingual in Aramaic and Greek in that time period. Does any other reason for the woman being described as Syrophoenician link up with the contents of the story? By implication, she is also a resident of the region of Tyre. Geographically, Tyre is a city in the southern part of Syria.32 It is "tangent to Galilee, some twenty miles northwest of Capernaum.... It is impossible to know how far [Jesus] penetrated . . . since 'the region of Tyre' simply designates the district of which Tyre was the metropolitan centre" (Lane 1974, 260). This region is considered by most scholars to be a Gentile region, so the woman is a foreigner to Jesus in an ethnic sense (Ringe 1985, 70). Downing (1992), however, states that "the area is mixed, not as clearly 'heathen' as Mark indicates" (138). The text says Jesus goes away to the region of Tyre and, entering a house, does not want anyone to know he is there. Why does Jesus go to the region of Tyre in the first place?34 Why does he withdraw and hide in a house? Tyre's coins refer to it as a 'city of refuge,' and these coins were well-circulated in Israel. Perhaps Jesus goes there to take refuge. Jesus' 127 movements are often as a result of complications and conflicts (which he is unable to control or prevent) (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 69); he has just been in conflict with the Pharisees and the scribes over purity issues (Mk 7:1-23). There are numerous examples of Jesus' withdrawal or retiring in Mark, and he withdraws for various reasons: for reflection, for privacy, and for secrecy (Burkill 1972, 67-68; Mann 1986, 320).36 I think that Jesus' withdrawal to Tyre in this scene is for privacy, possibly for reflection, and in this case it is clearly under the guise of secrecy (since he does not want anyone to know he is there). Jesus' withdrawals, however, are not always successful, as in the story of the Greek Syrophoenician woman (Burkill 1972, 64). He wanted to escape the notice of people but "[t]his proved impossible, for he had already had contact with a delegation from Tyre and Sidon (ch. 3:8) and the fame of his power over sickness and demonic possession had preceded him" (Lane 1974, 260). "The gossip network," prevalent in the ancient Mediterranean agrarian world, informed others by word of mouth about a person's honour status (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1992, 185). This network made Jesus' presence and status known to the Greek Syrophoenician woman; this is not unusual since gossip "was primarily associated with women, whose role it was to monitor social behavior" (185, 224). Jesus' broken incognito is used as a narrative strategy "signaling the coming conflict between Jesus' intention and its transformation in v.28" (Pokorny 1995, 322). When Jesus went to Tyre (Mk 7:24), certain socio-religious boundaries were encountered. As a Jew, Jesus would have been aware of the long, and mixed, history of the relationship between Syrophoenicians and Jews (as well as the relationship between Tyrians and Galileans). Historically, the Jews had both positive and negative relations with the Tyrians. It is clear that the attitude of the biblical writers towards the Phoenicians of Tyre and Sidon vary according to the various historical situations they are describing. There seems to be not only a recognition of the friendships that had occurred between Hiram (king of Tyre) and David and Solomon (kings of Israel),37 but also enmity that affects the two races.38 There is admiration on 128 the part of the Jews for the Phoenicians' achievements in trade, culture, and finances, and hatred on the part of the Galileans for the Tyrians' oppression and threat of territorial expansion (Gundry-Volf 1995, 516).40 Having Jesus journey to that region of Tyre and Sidon "underscores the opposition between Canaan—of which the Phoenicians are a part... and the house of Israel . . . between the pagans and the chosen people" (Odelain and Seguineau 1981, 377). As mentioned in the review of the literature, Tyre and Galilee had past and current disagreements about food production, with Tyre most often benefiting (Downing 1992, 138). When Jesus meets an upper-class Tyrian woman, from a region who scavenged for food from the poor Galileans when even they did not have enough to feed themselves, it is understandable why the narrator would portray Jesus rejecting her (Theissen 1991, 78-79). Taking into account the socio-political context of the border region between Tyre and Galilee, Jesus' words in Mk 7:27 have a powerful impact: This saying, which at first is so offensive, would have to awaken the following associations: 'First let the poor people in the Jewish rural areas be satisfied. For it is not good to take poor people's food and throw it to the rich Gentiles in the cities.' Let us be clear: we are not saying that Jesus' words had that intention. The denotative kernel of this saying only maintains that, just as one prefers children to dogs, so his first concern is for the Jews. But surrounding this denotative kernel is an associative field conditioned by the historical situation. It is evoked by the choice of image: when people mentioned food in the border regions of Tyre and Galilee, and also spoke of children (= Jews) and dogs (= Gentiles), they simultaneously addressed the general economic situation, determined by a clear hierarchy that was just as clearly reversed by Jesus' words. (Theissen 1991, 75)41 Another possible connection between the region and the contents of the story is found in the Greco-Roman houses in that area (Osiek and Balch 1997, 13-14). The upper class of that region had mosaic floors (which were found through archaeological digs of private houses in the Roman and Byzantine periods). These elaborate mosaic floors "were especially adorned, often with drinking or eating themes" (13-14).42 These houses stood in sharp contrast to the humble houses in the Galilean fishing villages (which Jesus would have come from).43 Is it any wonder that the Markan narrator uses a metaphor that involves an image of food? 129 It has not yet been established how the woman's religion is implicated in the conflict between herself and Jesus. The Phoenicians were known in the Hebrew Bible as worshippers of Baal and his consort (known variously as Astarte, Ashtoreth, and Asherah); the Phoenicians are depicted as drawing the Israelites away from Yahweh to worship their gods instead.44 A prime example is Ahab (king of Israel) marrying Jezebel (princess of Phoenicia) and turning to worshipping Baal and Asherah (1 Kgs 16:29-33).45 It is quite possible that the Tyrians followed the Mesopotamian practice of having the King as high priest of the goddess cult; he then made his daughter high priestess of the god cult (Brenner 1985, 24). Since Josephus writes that King Ethbaal was priest to Ashtoreth/Astarte, it is likely that Jezebel was priestess to Baal (23).46 Knowing that the woman in Mk 7:24-30 was Greek, Syrophoenician, and Tyrian, the reader would assume that not only do these three social indicators confirm her non-Jewish status, they confirm her religious affiliation with groups that are abhorrent to an Israelite. In looking at the implications of the woman in Mk 7:24-30 being Syrophoenician, and a resident of Tyre, reasons emerge as to why Jesus might have initially rejected her. The most significant differences between Jesus and the woman emerge from their social status and their religious affiliations. Initially, Jesus might have seen the woman as an oppressor (thinking of herself as superior) and a worshipper of idols (Baal and his consort). The character indicators of the woman being Greek and Syrophoenician are also significant because they point out two stylistic devices that the Markan narrator uses: two-step progression and the ordering of information in the narrative (particularly expository information). These two devices help to highlight certain traits of the woman in Mk 7:24-30. (1) Two-step progression. In two-step progression, the second part clarifies the first part and contains a crucial element for the story (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 47; Rhoads 1994, 353). In Mk 7:24-30, two-step progression is used when the narrator describes the woman as 'Greek, Syrophoenician by race.' 'Greek' means that she is from the upper class, she knows the Greek 130 language and culture, and that her religious affiliation was likely non-Jewish. As I mentioned in the review of the literature, Theissen (1991) suggests that the second part of the progression, 'Syrophoenician' indicates that this 'Greek-speaker' also spoke Aramaic and so was able to communicate with Jesus (69). Her being able to communicate with Jesus, however, is a positive implication of her being Syrophoenician and is unlikely to have caused Jesus to refuse her assistance. There are at least two reasons why being Syrophoenician in Tyre would have negative implications (both to a first-century reader and to Jesus): Tyrian oppression of Galileans, and pagan religious affiliation. These two factors might explain why the narrator chose to use two-step progression in building an initially negative impression of the woman. The first term, 'Greek,' sets the woman up as from the upper class, and the second term, 'Syrophoenician' (from Tyre), clinches her negative position in Jesus' eyes by emphasizing her position as an oppressor and a worshipper of idols. The more negative implications of the second term explain why the narrator includes these two terms in that particular order; this two-step progression sets up why Jesus initially refuses to help the woman. (2) Presentation of expository information in the narrative. How does the Markan narrator choose to introduce the woman's character in Mk 7:24-30? The character is described by the narrator initially as a woman who has a daughter with an unclean spirit. This is not the piece of information, however, that influences the course of the scene; "[s]maller pieces of exposition are withheld to be revealed at some appropriate moment in the midst of the tale" (Alter 1981, 80-81). Picture, if you will, how the narrator introduces the reader to the woman. The woman comes to Jesus on her own (rather than getting a male relative to do it). Then she prostrates herself at Jesus' feet; it is at this point that the narrator chooses to inform the reader that the woman is Greek and Syrophoenician.47 It would seem that the narrator timed the release of this information to have the greatest impact on the reader. The narrator could have easily informed the reader that the woman was Greek and Syrophoenician when he first mentions her, 131 but instead he waits and supplies this information when she is in a position of supplication before Jesus. What more significant picture could be created than to have a woman of the upper class (from a Gentile region that oppresses Galilee) prostrating herself at the feel of an itinerant Jewish prophet from Galilee? These physical positions in the mind's eye of the reader would support the idea that this is in some way an issue of status and power that is not made explicit by the narrator. The terms 'Greek' and 'Syrophoenician' are key to the interactions between Jesus and the woman, as well as the fact that she is female; the fact that she is Tyrian also factors into the power struggle. Obviously these character indicators have significance, for when the woman proceeds to asks Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter, he does not immediately consent, as he does in other cases. Instead he replies with a metaphor, implying that it is not appropriate that he should heal one whom he compares to a dog. This is a prime example of how the order of presentation of information can affect the impact on this information of the reader. The woman's traits in Jesus' eyes are highlighted through the use of these stylistic devices. Two-step progression shows to the reader (and to Jesus) that she is not only from the upper class, but that she may be an oppressor of those in need of bread; not only is she Hellenized culturally, but she is likely an idolater. The presentation of expository information strengthens the impact of these realizations; she is not just another suppliant in need of assistance. The reversed positions in which the narrator places Jesus and the woman, and then the way she is described by the narrator, create an irony in the power struggle that ensues in their dialogue. e) 'Dogs' In the dialogue, Jesus uses a metaphor in which he makes an implicit comparison between the woman, her daughter and 'dogs.' The woman accepts this comparison. The narrator makes a subtle distinction, however, between the way that dogs are portrayed by Jesus 132 and by the woman. Jesus uses the term as 'dogs outside' while the woman uses the term as 'dogs inside' (Dufton 1989, 417).48 The picture Jesus creates puts the dogs at a distance, with the food being tossed to them. The picture the woman creates has the dogs nearby, under the table, satisfied by the scraps that fall from the table. Perhaps the narrator makes this distinction because of differences in attitudes towards dogs in Jewish and in Greco-Syrophoenician societies. (1) 'Dogs 'from a Jewish viewpoint. When any Jew refers to a dog, a first-century reader of Mark would likely be reminded of how dogs are portrayed in the Hebrew Scriptures. On the literal level, dogs are mostly portrayed as pariah-dogs who eat what is unclean (France 1986, 50); there are stories about those who go against God's will and die in such a way that these scavengers will eat their flesh and lick up their blood.49 Although most of the literal references to dogs in the Hebrew Bible are negative, there are several positive references (e.g., some Israelites using shepherd dogs) (Jehuda Feliks, "Dogs," in Encyclopedia Judaica).50 Figurative allusions to dogs are made under various circumstances: to reproach someone for his/her actions, as a way to describe evildoers, or as a term of self-abasement (to show humility).51 This self-deprecating humility could be shown by an Israelite or even by a Syrian.52 The Hebrew term keleb ('dog') in Dt 23:19 is interpreted figuratively as a term for a male cultic functionary in a pagan temple; it could also be interpreted as an attendant of the dogs involved in the pagan healing rituals. In the Hebrew Bible, it is clear that dogs are mainly spoken about with contempt (Edwin Firmage, "Zoology (Fauna)," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary). With these references in mind, it is understandable why the character of Jesus initially compares the Greek Syrophoenician woman and her daughter to 'dogs' and places the dogs outside in the metaphor. Although in most interpretations of Mk 7:24-30 the reference to dogs is believed to refer to the Gentiles, it is limiting to consider it a direct comparison. The Hebrew Scriptural figurative references indicate that any person (Jew or Gentile) whose immoral nature 133 is commented upon could be labeled a 'dog'; likewise any person (Jew or Gentile) could show his/her humility to another person by applying the label of 'dog' to him/herself. Both figurative uses of the label 'dog' puts the person in a low-status position. Labeling a person a 'dog' seems connected to the individual's response to God's will. (2) 'Dogs 'from a Greek viewpoint. What cultural associations would the woman have to being labeled a 'dog'? As mentioned in the review of the literature, some interpreters speculate about whether Greeks viewed dogs as house pets (since this Greek character portrays the dogs inside the house, under the table). Although this may be contested historically (Derrett 1977, 151), it is probable that the Greeks had a closer relationship to dogs than the Jews. In classical Greek society, on the literal level, dogs were often greatly appreciated, as beloved pets, as guardians, and as hunting dogs; the so-called Alexander Sarcophagus depicts Alexander the Great and the client-king of Phoenicia engaging in a hunt, with a hound helping them attack a lion (Stager 1991, 33, 38).54 This does not preclude the Greeks from using the term 'dogs' on a figurative level in a pejorative way. There are examples of Greeks unfavourably comparing Cynics to dogs, as was mentioned in the review of the literature (Downing 1992). From Downing's (1992) article, several things are clear: 'giving scraps to the dogs' was a known metaphorical way of insulting the Cynics (who were at the feasting table); Cynics were not rebuffed by these insults and did provide witty responses; and a woman could be a Cynic. Even though the Cynics might have turned the insults around to their advantage, it does not remove the stigma from the term. Both the Jews and the Greeks use the term 'dog' in a figurative way to insult someone, as well as for someone to insult themselves. Although both Jews and Greeks use the term 'dog' pejoratively, the Greeks also have some positive associations with the term. These positive associations from the woman's cultural background might explain her shifting the dogs' position to that of being 'under the table eating the scraps.' These Greek intertextual references about Cynics remind the reader that within any honour-shame society in the Mediterranean, 134 challenge-riposte was one way of acquiring honour (and turning around shame) (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1992, 213-214, 188); the woman can accept Jesus' comparison of herself and her daughter to dogs under the table (receiving the remnants), and then have the courage and ability to respond with a witty rejoinder.55 Are there associations that the woman might have with the term 'dogs' from her Phoenician cultural background? (3) 'Dogs 'from a Syrophoenican viewpoint. There is some information that makes tentative connections between Phoenicians, dogs, and healing rituals (Stager 1991; Edwin Firmage, "Zoology (Fauna)," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary). There are three different kinds of findings about dogs and Phoenicians. The first has the most direct connection to the contents of Mk 7:24-30. A dog cemetery was discovered in Ashkelon, dating from the fifth century B.C.E. This city was ruled politically by Persian kings in that period, but it was governed by a Phoenician, a Tyrian in fact; although it was a cosmopolitan port, it was dominated by Phoenician culture (Stager 1991, 28, 39). Stager (1991) proposes that the Phoenicians were responsible for the dog burials at Ashkelon, and that the Phoenicians regarded the dogs as sacred animals, involving them in healing rituals (38-39).56 Dogs were involved in healing cults in many different cultures in antiquity: "their association with temples and healing deities was rather widespread in the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern worlds, whether it be Gula in Mesopotamia, Asklepios in Greece, Eshmun in Phoenicia, Mukol or Resheph-Mukol in Phoenician Cyprus" (39). It is not clear which deity the dogs in the cemetery at Ashkelon were associated with, but "in the end, a common theme emerges—deities with healing powers are often associated with dogs" (40-41).57 The archaeological findings from Ashkelon suggest a possible connection between the context of healing in Mk 7:24-30 and the inclusion of the term 'dogs.' The second finding is that there is a Phoenician reference on the Kition plaque to 'dog,' like the Deuteronomical reference in the Hebrew Scriptures; it is understood as a technical term for a cultic functionary, possibly for an attendant for the dogs of a healing cult.58 The third finding is 135 references to the use of dogs and pigs in religious rituals in the ancient Near East (ANE), in which these animals (or images of them) are used in exorcisms, often concerning young children.59 Is it possible that a connection was known in the general public about Phoenicians, dogs, and healings (exorcisms in particular)? Although this is a tentative connection at best, it might serve as an explanation as to why, of all the different metaphors that Jesus might have used when encountering a Syrophoenician woman in Tyre (who wanted an exorcism for her daughter), he should choose to relate a picture of children and dogs. As with the connection between the Tyrians and food, the associative field around the term 'dogs' is evoked by the narrator's inclusion of the term in Mk 7:24-30; this field is conditioned by the socio-historical context. First, when dogs are mentioned in a healing story, along with a Greek Syrophoenician woman, the first-century reader might think of the dogs' involvement with healings in pagan temples. Second, for a Jew to mention dogs in this story might indicate his ridicule of that pagan practice (since for him it is only Yahweh who has the power to do the healing). Dogs were considered unclean animals by Jews, so they would not have used by them in any sacred rites, even for sacrifices to Yahweh.60 Third, the reader might understand how a Hellene would accept a dog under her table, since the upper-class Greeks had more positive affiliations with dogs. Fourth, the reader might understand why this Greek Syrophoenician woman would describe herself as a 'dog' since this was one of the labels used in the ANE as a "formula expressing humility" (G. Johannes Botterweck, "keleb" in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament).61 The differences in cultural associations with the term 'dogs' for Jesus and for the woman in Mk 7:24-30 are better understood within this socio-historical context. This context connects the term 'dogs' to the healing and to the woman's humility in a way that would not otherwise be readily observable. 136 Since in the story previous to this one Jesus has declared all foods clean (Mk 7:1-23), there is no longer the sharp distinction between table fellowship with Jews and Gentiles. The threat of contamination remains if a Jew is around a Gentile, however, since that Jew may stray from his/her religious devotion to Yahweh. The woman, therefore, as a 'dog,' is not just a scavenger, but is also initially seen by Jesus as pagan and therefore unworthy to receive God's gifts. Jesus morally evaluates the woman and her daughter. The traits that Jesus might ascribe to the woman initially, therefore, might include 'unworthy pagan scavenger.' If the woman shares some traits with the Cynics, they would include being witty and resilient. By her accepting being labeled a 'dog' and by using the label herself, she shows herself to be humble as well. (5) 'Dogs' and 'children' within the metaphor. While looking at the character indicators that apply to the woman in Mk 7:24-30, it is necessary to address the term 'dogs,' in relation to other terms in the metaphor that Jesus uses: 'children,' 'first,' and 'eating.' What is 'children' referring to? What is the relationship between the 'dogs' and the 'children'? What role does the activity of 'eating' play in their interaction? rsKva literally refers to descendants, denoting membership in a particular group (from the standpoint of origin).62 In Mark, TSKVCC appears nine times.63 Mk 7:27 is the only time it is used to distinguish one group from another, when it refers to the descendants of Israel. As mentioned in the review of the literature, there are numerous references from the Hebrew Scriptures describing the Jews as 'the children.' Within the Jewish world-view, a child was a gift from God, a guarantee of God's covenant with Israel; the immortality of the people of Israel was carried on through their children (Joseph A. Grassi, "Child, Children," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary).64 There are other Greek words that denote the concept of 'children.' As mentioned in the review of the literature, Pokorny points out that there are several different words within Mk 7:24-30 that describe children: rsKva (y.27), naiSia (v. 28, 30), and two words describing the 137 daughter (Goyarpiov, v.25; dvyaxnp, w. 26, 29). Through the use of these different terms, the reader shifts his/her understanding of who the bread is for: the bread is initially for the Jews, and it ends up being for those who are dependent and immature (such as the Gentile woman's little daughter) (Pokorny 1995, 337). naidwv also serves to link Mk 7:24-30 with other stories in Mark, naidiov appears twelve times within Mark: in the story of Jairus' daughter (5:39, 40,40, 41); in the story of the Greek Syrophoenician woman (7:28, 30); with the man who has a possessed son (9:24); when Jesus takes a child and says to his followers that when they welcome this child in his name, they welcome the one who sent him (9:36, 37); as well as when Jesus tells his followers to let the little children come to him, for the kingdom of God belongs to those who are just like these little children (10:13, 14, 15) (Aland 1983, 1077). Obviously, these stories show us that the healing of children is possible through Jesus, and that one must have faith to receive this healing (5:36; 9:23-23). Perhaps the woman's response in chapter 7 shows Jesus that Gentile children are dependent on Yahweh for life-giving sustenance. In chapters 9 and 10, Jesus then teaches others that children (those who are helpless and dependent) are a reminder of how one is to respond to God, that one is to depend on Him (C. Brown, "naiq? in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology). These two stories about Jesus and children "form an important literary frame for illustrating true discipleship" (Joseph A. Grassi, "Child, Children," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary). i) 'Dogs' and 'children' and who comes 'first.' After having examined 'dogs' and 'children,' what is their relationship in Jesus' metaphor (Mk 7:27)? The 'children' come 'first' {npcoxov). The narrator is implying that there is an appropriate order to who receives the privileges of God. As mentioned in the review of the literature, it is possible that the background to this comes from the Hebrew Bible story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath, in which the Israelite prophet directs the woman to feed him first and then herself and her Gentile son (1 Kgs 138 17:13). In the Markan context, there are two types of references to 'first' that are applicable in looking at Mk 7:24-30: parables that describe explicitly how one must act in order to be part of the kingdom of God; and a reference to the signs of the coming of God's kingdom.66 In using the term Tzpcozov'm Mk 7:27, Jesus is implying the Israelites' exclusive privilege, but the woman's response indicates that the dogs do get the scraps, not later, but during the meal.67 Her response about the lowly 'dogs' receiving benefits from God's household perhaps causes Jesus to shift his view of the children. He later explains to the disciples how one must act to be part of God's kingdom—^ rig OsXei nparog sivai, earai xavrcov eo-%arog recti navrcov Siatcovog ("Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all") (9:35)~and then he takes a child (naidiov) into his arms and says "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me" (9:37). The connections of the terms 'children' and 'first' between Mk 7:24-30 and Mk 9:35-37 show a change in Jesus' idea of who comes first: those who are dependent (like the children) come first. These later references to 'first' in Mark show how the theological message of 'the first will be last and the last will be first' in God's kingdom has become more explicit (9:35; 10:31, 44). The last mention of 'first' in Mark is that the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations as a sign that the end of the age is come (13:10). If this is Jesus' view about the future, then surely those who are dependent (like the children) come first, regardless of whether they are Jew or Gentile. This Gentile woman is dependent on God's power for the healing of her child; she is worthy, as one of the last, to be first in God's kingdom. ii) 'Dogs' and 'children' and 'eating.' The symbolic function of meals is also necessary to consider when discussing Jesus' metaphor. Neufeld discusses the literature on the themes of eating and food in Mark: "eating and food are significant themes developed by the author to advance the issue of discipleship and understanding. . . . There are 158 occurrences of [scrdiov ('eating')] in the Second Testament, of which 27 are found in the Gospel of Mark. . . . In almost 139 every instance the eating narratives lead to a controversy" (Neufeld 1996, 158). The Greek Syrophoenician woman's story is one of the thirteen Markan eating controversies (158).69 Neufeld's (1996) analysis includes the following observations from anthropologists and sociologists about the function of eating in the first century: What one eats and with whom, not eating either through fasting, avoidance, or abstinence-all these were direct expressions of social, political, and religious relationships (Malina 1986: 193). . . . Eating therefore involved more than simply ingesting comestibles. It symbolized a complex set of relationships and feelings, it mediated social status and power, and it expressed the boundaries of group identity (Klosinski: 56; Neyrey: 361-87). (159) Certainly eating and food are significant within Mark, particularly with the boundaries of group identity between Jews and Gentiles (as has been mentioned in the review of the literature). In Mk 7:24-30, Jesus' metaphor provides clues to first-century Mediterranean eating and meals, such as the social status of those involved, their social grouping, and the divinity's presence.70 By having the obvious division of social groupings, of Jews as the children at the table and of Gentiles as the dogs under the table, the social status of the Jews is obviously far above the Gentiles (in Jesus' estimation). Since a divinity was acknowledged at a meal (through prayer or libation), it would be expected that both Jesus and the woman would consider the role of the divine in providing sustenance. "Jesus' declaration that nothing external is unclean [Mk 7:1-23] amounts to a rejection of kosher practices (see Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14)" (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1992, 221); therefore status and acknowledgment of the divine would be his major concerns in Mk 7:24-30. The woman's response to Jesus' cues about the metaphorical meal show that she steps outside the old Greek customs (in which the women would be segregated during formal meals) and she adopts more of the independence of the Roman custom of women being present; she includes herself and her daughter (as dogs) at the meal.71 The woman does not switch positions of status or social groupings that Jesus portrays in his metaphor, she simply brings the dogs in under the table. She concedes that Jews have the superior status position at the table and that Gentiles can be satisfied with crumbs under the table. 140 Derrett (1977) provides a midrashic explanation for the image of being under the table eating crumbs in Mk 7:28. This image also appears in Jgs 1:7, when the Canaanite, Adonibezek, explains that prior to his capture by Judah and Simeon he had seventy kings under his table gathering crumbs (155). It is not specifically just the Jews that are pictured at the table in this parallel, but a Gentile king, with other Gentiles underneath him. The image of being under a table is one that expresses low status and subservience rather than simply an image describing Jew-Gentile relations in particular. The status of who sits at or below the table, however, seems of small consequence when mere crumbs are enough to satisfy one's needs. The woman in Mk 7:24-30 recognizes the Jewish divinity's presence and power to satisfy, and that acknowledgment is enough to get Jesus to concede to help her. She is willing to be subservient, once she has established that she is allowed at the meal in some capacity. f) The actions of the woman What can we infer about this woman from her actions? What do the actions imply about her motives, attitudes, and moral nature? At the beginning of the scene, after she hears about Jesus, she comes to a man whom she does not know and who does not want to be discovered. Since Jews were not encouraged to have interactions with even unknown Jewish women, it was also bold of her, a Gentile woman, to approach a Jewish man (Gundry-Volf 1995, 509). It is possible that this upper-class Tyrian woman was accustomed to having dealings with men due to having no male representative in her house and/or due to her being one of the independent woman of that era. Although such contact was unusual, it may simply point out the unusual position she held within first-century society. The woman's persistence is apparent since she sees Jesus despite his desire to go unnoticed (Malbon 1992, 44). The reader may infer that she is a compassionate, concerned mother who takes whatever measures are needed to get help for her daughter. 141 Having come, she shows her respect for Jesus by prostrating herself at his feet, putting herself into a humble position (a common position for suppliants to put themselves in to request assistance) (Downing 1992, 136). Within the patronage system that existed in that era, this is also "the gesture of a client seeking a favour from a patron or broker" (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1992, 225); within that system, Jesus is portrayed in Mark as acting as God's broker, with God as the ultimate patron (235-237). The woman proceeds to speak to Jesus herself (again, not through a male relative). When she begs Jesus to cast out the demon, it is clear that she believes Jesus has the power and authority to be able to do so, and she has faith in the power that comes through him. After hearing his humiliating rebuff, she answers him with words of her own; this shows her courage and her "unusual trust in Jesus as God's broker" (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1992, 225, 236). Finally, after hearing Jesus' response to her metaphor, she obediently follows his instructions to go home; the reader can infer that the woman trusts Jesus' word that the demon has left (even though the child was not even present with them at the time of his saying so). When she arrives home, it is as Jesus had described it: she finds that her daughter has been thrown onto the bed in the process of the demon having come out of her. There are certainly many traits that can be inferred from this woman's actions: she is in need, compassionate and concerned (to be doing this on behalf of her daughter), independent, bold, courageous, respectful, humble, trusting, persevering, has faith in Jesus' power and authority as God's broker, and is obedient to his instructions. g) The speech of the woman Since the woman's speech is so unique in Mark, it merits detailed analysis. The use of speech representation in general is remarkable within Mk 7:24-30. In this passage, all three types of speech representation are used by the narrator: first-person dialogue, third-person 142 dialogue, and narratized dialogue. I shall examine the speech representation in this pericope by looking at its linguistic features, its function, and its relationship to gender. (1) Linguistic features of speech representation. There are linguistic features of speech representation that help to distinguish third-person dialogue from first-person dialogue (Banfield 1973, 6, 17-18, 27; Rimmon-Kenan 1983, 111-113). Mk 7:26 is clearly third-person dialogue: rjpcora aorov iva ('she was asking him that'). The verb of speaking is followed by a subordinator ((iva, 'that'), which marks her dialogue as indirect. It is clear that the narrator is describing what the woman says rather than providing her exact words of speech. The verb of communication, hpcora, takes the sentence complement as a direct object. Also, the pronominalization indicates that it is an indirect representation (TO Saipoviov stcffaArj SK rng Qvyarpoq aorrjg, 'he might cast the demon out of her daughter,' in contrast to direct speech 'you might cast the demon out of my daughter'). The other three speech representations in Mk 7:27-29 do not include a subordinate, instead having the verbs of speaking followed directly by a comma: eAsyevavrrj, ('he said to her,' 7:27); aKSKpiOn KCCI Asysi avrco, ('she answered and she said to him,' 7:28); einev avrrj, ('he said to her,' 7:29). These clearly are constructs that appear to directly quote the speakers. The verbs serve to separate the two successive independent sentences in the discourse, with the quoted speaker's own expression appearing after the verb of communication. The verbs of communication also differ in tense from the verbs within the speech representation. Verbs within speech representation allow for the present tense (vnays 'go' 7:29).74 The pronominalization also indicates that these are instances of first-person dialogue. The woman's inclusion of a vocative noun, Kvpie ('Sir'), also shows the reader that this is to appear as first-person dialogue from the woman. 143 (2) Functions of speech representation. Dialogue provides a method of communication between two characters. Having considered the grammatical composition of these sentences and what the words in these sentences mean, what is it that the sentences intend to 'do' and what do they in fact 'do'? To figure out what the sentences 'mean' as a function of what they 'do' in the context of the action, the reader can assign a verb to help "divine for [himself/herself] the illocutionary force of the sentences spoken by the characters to each other" (Chatman 1978, 175-176).76 Although the woman 'begs' Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter, her speech act is not effective. Jesus instead 'dictates' that the children must be satisfied first and that it is not fair to take their food and throw it to the dogs; by the use of this metaphor, he implies that he will not heal her daughter. He intends to 'rebuff her with this metaphor, but he is not successful. The woman 'asserts' that even the dogs under the table eat the crumbs from the children. She intends to give Jesus another angle from which to look at the situation, and the reader knows she is successful when Jesus 'concludes' by responding, "For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter." This process addresses what one character intends to 'do' to another character. In looking at the illocutionary force of these sentences, it is also necessary to consider what the narrator intends to 'do,' or communicate, to the reader. When the narrator indicates that there is speech represented within the narrative, those words must be weighed carefully. Although the Markan narrator's words are reliable, the character's words may not be. What the woman says must be weighed against who she is and what her relationship is with Jesus. Although she is reported to speak twice in the scene, it is only the second time when first-person dialogue is provided; the first time, it is only third-person dialogue (in which the narrator describes to us what she says). What she says directly to Jesus is what shifts Jesus' understanding in regards to the place of the dogs in the household. 144 There are different functions for different types of speech representation. The first indication of speech in the narrative begins with the most distant form, a 'narratized dialogue.' The narrator informs the reader that "Jesus did not want anyone to know [he was there]" (Mk 7:24): is this a thought Jesus has or is it something he conveys to his host in the house? The narrator does not clarify whether is it an internal thought or an outer exchange of dialogue. Another instance of narratized dialogue follows, when the woman hears about Jesus; obviously someone in the gossip network must have spoken to her about his presence in the region, but again the narrator does not include this exchange. In neither of these instances does the narrator provide the words used or context in which the exchange took place (i.e., to whom, where, when). Obviously this information is not crucial to the narrative, so it can be more easily conveyed in narratized form. The next form used is third-person dialogue. Only Mally notes that the Greek Syrophoenician woman does not use first-person dialogue when she asks for help from Jesus (which is also unusual in the healing narratives) (Mally 1968, 37). The narrator may have chosen to have the woman ask Jesus for help in third-person dialogue form, since the narrator has already let the reader know that she has a daughter with an unclean spirit; in this way, repetition is avoided. As well, using this form initially in the scene focuses more attention on what is said later between them. The narrator uses first-person dialogue in the remaining three instances of speech representation within Mk 7:24-30. These three instances form the nucleus of the scene. It makes sense that the Markan narrator should choose to have Jesus and the woman using first-person dialogue since this form implies an authenticity to what is said, and what the woman says changes Jesus' mind. The dramatic representation of first-person dialogue lends impact to what Jesus says, and sharpness and clarity as well to the woman's rebuttal and Jesus' response. This 145 first-person dialogue forms the peak of the narrative of Mk 7:24-30, with the rebuttal of the Greek Syrophoenician woman at its centre. First-person dialogue (especially an exchange of dialogue) involves the reader/hearer in making sense of the story which is an integral part of storytelling. The other features in Mk 7:24-30 that encourage the reader's involvement include: the repetition of words in the narrative (woman, daughter, unclean spirit/demon, children, dogs); the deletion of any comment or explanation (neither Jesus nor the narrator provide an explanation about who the children and the dogs are); and minimal external evaluation (the narrator does not say why a woman who is Greek and Syrophoenician should initially be refused help by a man who has not refused to help anyone up to this point in the narrative). There are other features of speech representation that the narrator can use to communicate information to the reader. The point at which dialogue is introduced is important: in Mk 7:24-30 it does not start until the woman is at Jesus' feet and the reader knows that she is Greek and Syrophoenician (which is likely to cause a problem); then the narrator tells us that the woman begs Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter. It is in response to her request that the first-person dialogue begins. Speech representation is used here to slow down the tempo of the narrative, with first-person dialogue emphasizing the content. Jesus' response to her request is a metaphor, and Jesus provides no explanation of who the children are or of who the dogs are. Dialogue exposes both Jesus' and the woman's relationship with God, so what is said or left unsaid are equally important. Certainly what is said by Jesus about the woman is not immediately understandable to a modern reader (although it might have been to a first-century reader, who would have found it insulting to the woman). What is not explained by Jesus tests this woman's understanding of her relationship with God. The woman must discover for herself the meaning of the metaphor, and show a non-offensive role for the dogs if she is going to be able to reverse Jesus' stand. "Two verbs (aneKpiOr) KCCI Asyei) introduce the [woman's] answer 146 in an almost solemn style; and the time of telling the story slows down compared with the real 7 7 7 S N time of the event~a signal that the key scene is coming" (Pokorny 1995, 328). ansKpiOr] tcai s 7 ^ Xeysi avTCO, ('she answered and she says to him,') introduces her words with the use of the historic present form of Aeyco {Xeyei 'she says') (Zerwick and Grosvenor 1974, 129). This is unusual, since the narrative mainly uses the imperfect tense to introduce dialogue, such as Jesus 7/ ^ did in speaking to her (eXeyev, 'he said') (7:27). The historic present verb, Xeyei, helps draw attention to the immediacy of what she is about to say.78 The woman presents herself well in how she responds to Jesus' metaphor. She accepts the basic picture he presents; this is reinforced by her repeating Jesus' word Kvvapia ('dogs'). She does, however, adjust Jesus' picture by creating a place for the dependent dogs so that their needs are satisfied without any harm or loss to the children. This adjustment is noticeable due to three changes she makes to Jesus' metaphor: she changes Jesus' word for 'children' from TEKVCC ('descendants') to naidia ('dependent little children'); she brings the dogs from outside to inside the house (under the table); and she does not picture the dogs becoming 'satisfied' (as the children are) but only that the dogs can 'eat' something (the scraps). Dialogue is used in this instance rather than narrative because the woman's Xoyoq ('word') changes the situation in Mk 7:29. Due to the woman's word, the reader knows that the spoken word can hold creative power. Derrett (1977) suggests that this is a midrashic explanation for being cured by a word: in Ps 107:20, the Lord sends out his word and heals the ones who were sick (due to their sinful ways) (160). It is interesting to note that Philo of Alexander, a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher and writer (c. 20 B .C.E. - c. 50 C.E.), "accorded a central place to the Logos (word) as the creative power which orders the world and the intermediary which enables men to know God" (H. Bietenhard, "EXXnv" in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology).79 I am not implying that Jesus (or the 147 Markan narrator) is directly referring to Philo's ideas; the belief that spoken words are a creative power, particularly as a way to express and know God's will, is found within the Hebrew Bible as well as within the New Testament (Alter 1981, 69). It is therefore reasonable to assume that Jesus' referring to her 'word' also holds the connotation of creative power. Her 'word' seems to have led Jesus to a fuller understanding of God's kingdom and the place of the Gentiles within it; after their discussion, Jesus' activities among the Gentiles markedly increase (7:31- 8:10, 8:22 -9:1). Dialogue is also an important part of an honour-shame society, such as is found in the first-century Mediterranean area. Honour can be ascribed or acquired: it is ascribed from birth (with certain families) and it is acquired "in the result of skill in the never-ending game of challenge and response" (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1992, 213). The game of challenge-riposte must be played out in public: "[i]t consists of a challenge (almost any word, gesture, or action) that seeks to undermine the honor of another person and a response that answers in equal measure or ups the ante (and thereby challenges in return). Both positive (gifts, compliments) and negative (insults, dares) challenges must be answered to avoid a serious loss of face" (188). In the challenge-riposte in Mk 7:24-30, Jesus' word challenges the woman and undermines her honour; she is able to respond to him in such a way as to uphold his honour while still re-establishing her own (even though she maintains an inferior position). Her inferior position is in keeping with the client-broker-patron relationship that provides her with access to God's favours (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1992, 225, 235-237). (3) Speech representation and gender. In Markan healing narratives, the Greek Syrophoenician woman is the only female who uses first-person dialogue in her interchange with Jesus; she is also the only woman in all of Mark who has this kind of direct exchange with Jesus. There are nine female characters in the Gospel of Mark whom the narrator depicts as speaking. Eight speak in first-person dialogue form (5:28; 6:24, 25: 7:28; 14: 67,69; 16:3).80 148 One woman speaks only in narratized dialogue form (3:31).81 Of the nine women whom the narrator has speaking in Mark, only two speak to Jesus directly: the hemorrhaging woman and the Greek Syrophoenician woman. The narrator uses the narratized dialogue form to describe that the hemorrhaging woman talks to Jesus: rjXdev KCCI npoaeneaev avra> KOLI sinev avzco naaav rrjv aAndsiav^ she came and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth') (5:33). This seems appropriate, since her action is what is most important in the scene, not her words. In the second instance in Mark when the Greek Syrophoenician woman speaks to Jesus, it is her word that is crucial to the scene (Dewey 1997, 56). As mentioned in chapter 1, the Greek Syrophoenician woman takes the alienating image that Jesus presents in his metaphor and restructures it (Theissen 1991, 80). She takes the positive value given to the image of the children and plays it off the need of her own child, so that she is able to give positive value to the negative word 'dog.' As far as Jesus' relationship to women, he speaks to four individual female characters: the hemorrhaging woman (5:34), Jairus' daughter (5:41), Jairus' wife (5:43), and the Greek Syrophoenician woman (7:27, 29). He speaks to three of them in first-person dialogue form: the hemorrhaging woman, Jairus' daughter, and the Greek Syrophoenician woman.82 He says to the hemorrhaging woman: Ovyarnp, n mcrtig GOV GSGCOKEV GS vnays sig sipnvnv, Km IGGI C \ 1 N ^ s S vying ano trjgpaGxiyog GOV ('Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease') (5:34). He tells Jairus' daughter, in Aramaic: xaXiOa Kovp ('get up') (5:41). These two examples relate to Jesus' healing of these two female characters. The dialogue between Jesus and the Greek Syrophoenician woman holds particular interest because it is the only example in Mark of a female character to whom Jesus speaks in first-person dialogue, who then answers him in first-person dialogue. The form of first-person dialogue helps the reader focus on the content of their speeches. 149 As mentioned in chapter 1, first-person dialogue makes a character visible, but not necessarily more admirable: "how [a female character] is visible depends on the content of the narrative, and may or may not serve patriarchal purposes" (Dewey 1997, 57). As far as the contents of women's first-person dialogue in Mark, what impression is the reader left with? There are both negative and positive pictures of women. On the negative side, Jesus' mother and his sisters come and call to Jesus because they want to restrain him, thinking he is insane. Herodias advises her daughter to have John the Baptist beheaded, and her daughter requests this of Herod. The servant girl repeatedly accuses Peter of being with Jesus (which Peter denies). Even the positive picture of the three women going to anoint Jesus' corpse turns negative. The three women wonder aloud to each other who will roll away the stone that is at the entrance to the tomb (15:3). When the heavenly messenger explains to them that Jesus has been raised from the dead, and that the women should go tell his disciples that he will meet them all in Galilee, the . \ 7 X 7 N ^ 7 ^ / women flee in terror and amazement: Kai ovdsvi ouSsv sinav• stpoBovvro yap ('and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid') (16:8). When women are finally told to say something vital, due to their fear and amazement, they are not able to do so. The two positive images of women's words come from the hemorrhaging woman and the Greek Syrophoenician woman; both go against the patriarchal norms of the Markan storyworld. The unclean hemorrhaging woman says to herself: Eav ay/copai Kav rcov ipancov avrov acoQnaopai ('If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well') (5:28). The Greek Syrophoenician has to go one step further in her faith and convince Jesus that what she wants is all right within God's kingdom; she is successful. She provides a model of a witty suppliant with faith, who uses her words wisely and successfully; she is admirable despite her counter-cultural actions. (4) Conclusions about the speech representation within Mk 7:24-30. The speech representation in Mk 7:24-30 draws attention to the intentions of the characters. Jesus tries to rebuff the woman, yet she persuades him to heal her daughter. The narrator also uses the various 150 forms of speech representation to influence the reading of the story. It is interesting that the forms of speech used in Mk 7:24-30 progress from being distant and most indirect to being most immediate and direct. This progression makes the dramatic exchange between Jesus and the woman the focus of the scene and brings the narrative to a peak at the sentence that is most crucial in the scene; namely, the woman's response. The use of speech representation, among other features, involves the reader/hearer more in the story, requiring her/him to make sense of the dialogue. The initial portrayal of the woman may be negative, but this changes once her actual words are heard. In this unique instance in Mark, the narrator puts a woman's words in first-person dialogue format in her dialogue with Jesus. Speech representation, within the context of gender in the Gospel of Mark, shows that the Greek Syrophoenician woman makes the most of what words she does say, and the narrator makes sure that the reader is aware of the unique qualities of this first-person dialogue between this remarkable woman and Jesus. The woman attains her goal "because of her speaking up and out" (Malbon 1983, 37). Through her speech, the woman in Mk 7:24-30 shows that she is both brave in speaking to a Jewish stranger and intelligent in her response. There are three things about this woman's dialogue with Jesus that make it noteworthy. First, this woman is the only female in all of Mark who speaks in first-person dialogue with Jesus (Mk 7:28). Second, her words result in Jesus changing his mind and altering his intended course of action; this is the only instance in Mark in which someone changes Jesus' mind (Dewey 1997, 56). Third, since Jesus changes his mind, it is clear that the woman has bested him in debate making this the only example of anyone winning an argument with Jesus. Jesus speaks; the woman hears, accepts, thinks, and then speaks. I infer from the woman's speech that she is unique, brave, intelligent, witty, understanding, and sensitive to the situation in which Jesus finds himself. 151 h) The order of presentation of information in the narrative After discussing the character indicators of Greek and Syrophoenician, I explored two-step progression and the expository information about the woman in Mk 7:24-30. These two devices have already highlighted certain traits about the woman. The other way to evaluate how order of presentation of information influences the reconstruction of traits is to consider how the reader's evaluation of the woman in Mk 7:24-30 is affected. The order of presentation of information about the character not only has an influence on the reader's understanding of the character, but subsequently of him/herself. The narrator intends for the reader to be drawn into self-evaluation in the process of reading Mk 7:24-30. How does the reader relate to the Greek Syrophoenician woman? The initial information given about the character can cause either an association or dissociation with that character, according to the expectations of the reader. The reader imagines that this will just be another suppliant (like the many others the reader has encountered up to this point in the story). While the woman is at Jesus' feet, the narrator informs the reader by epithets that the woman is Greek and Syrophoenician by race. These epithets not only distinguish the character they describe, but they have an indirect influence on the plot; they shape the reader's expectations (as a foreshadowing device). Since a first-century reader would probably have understood these epithets to mean that the Greek Syrophoenician woman would be viewed negatively by Jesus (which is reinforced by his comparing her to a dog), the reader is being encouraged by the narrator to dissociate from her character.83 The actions of the character, however, may lead the reader to re-evaluate his/her understanding of the character, and also re-evaluate his/her understanding of the message of the story and its impact on his/her own understanding of the divine. Through the woman's action (speaking out), the picture Jesus paints of what it means to be a dog changes. The reader understands that it will not negatively infringe upon the rights of the children/Jews to have the dogs/Gentiles in the picture; the dogs/Gentiles will benefit from the crumbs/extra power that would not be missed by the children/Jews in any 152 event. The dogs/Gentiles are then accepted into the household/kingdom, and therefore the power to heal, that is available through Jesus, is available to the woman's child. Since Jesus helps the woman, the reader is then called upon to question Jesus' reversal of position and to examine how this woman's actions measure up to the teachings and example of Jesus. As Sternberg (1985) says, "from given character to action provoked to deeper character implied . . . whereby the action mediates between the truth and the whole truth" (346); the woman's action (speaking out) reveals her deeper character (that of a believer in Jesus as God's agent). The order of presentation of information certainly requires that there be a reconstruction of the woman's traits. The initial epithets were misleading in relation to subsequent disclosures during the narrative. The initial 'truth' that Jesus stands by in his metaphor (that Gentiles are dogs) is transformed by the woman's action into a 'whole truth' about the nature of God's power and how it can assist them all (both Jew and Gentile). Due to her action, there is a shift in Jesus' (and the reader's) understanding of the woman's moral nature. Even Jesus' opinion about a character's moral nature can change according to how he/she responds to him and what he/she says. In the structure of Mk 7:24-30, the reader is initially given 'certainty' about who this woman is; the inferences surrounding the actions of the woman, and the weighing of claims between hers and Jesus' words, allow that 'certainty' to shift. Even when she is in a powerless position before Jesus, her moral nature shines through: strength, courage, understanding, compassion, faith, and obedience. Mark's theological theme that "God reverses human expectations by working through the powerless, children and little ones" is supported within the outcome of Mk 7:24-30 (Joseph A. Grassi, "Child, Children," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary). In evaluating Jesus' change in how he views the woman, the reader questions his/her understanding of the character as well as his/her own understanding of God's message. Perhaps the reader can come to associate him/herself with the woman, imitate her actions (boldness, 153 belief in God's power through Jesus, intelligence, understanding, willingness to put oneself last), and thereby use her as a Gentile female model to emulate. 2. Summary of Her Traits Her traits have already been briefly discussed, both in the review of the literature and, to some extent, in the discussion about character indicators.85 Inference is required in the process of transforming character indicator information (from its literary and socio-historical context) into adjectives to describe the woman (Chatman 1978, 125). The following are traits often ascribed to her, and I shall evaluate them and add some traits that have come from my own analysis. a) Faith Many interpreters focus on faith as the central characteristic of the woman (Rhoads 1994, 360). I think it is too simplistic to say that this one trait gets the woman what she wants (namely, the healing of her daughter). Faith is necessary for healing; the woman, by coming to Jesus and asking for assistance for her daughter, is exhibiting faith implicitly. However, faith is not the central point of the story (Downing 1992, 136-139). Even Jesus indicates the significance of the 'word' said by the woman and that her response was what got her daughter healed (Rhoads 1994, 360). Faith, then, is necessary for the healing, but in the case of Mk 7:24-30, it is the woman's speaking out, and her intelligence and wit to figure out the right words to say, that also contribute to Jesus changing his mind and entering into the healing. b) Intelligence and wit As mentioned in the review of the literature, interpreters ascribe various traits to the woman to explain her ability to reply to Jesus. These traits include intelligence, understanding, 154 insightfulness, wit, ingeniousness, cleverness, and excellence. There are slightly different nuances in the meanings behind some of these words when looking at the character's role in the story. Certainly the words that are used most commonly in this way to describe her are understanding, wit, and intelligence. I would conjecture that it is due to her overall intelligence that the other traits follow. She shows her understanding and insightfulness when she understands the metaphor that Jesus uses.87 This is in contrast to the lack of understanding that the disciples often show. Being witty/ingenious/clever, she uses her skill in challenge-riposte: she takes Jesus' metaphor and twists it to her own benefit, returning it to him with persuasive eloquence. Jesus accepts her 'word' and her daughter is healed. It is clear that she bests Jesus in the debate (Ringe 1985, 71; Perkins 1988, 43; Downing 1992, 134, 138-139). In the woman's reaction to Jesus' metaphor, Downing (1992) comments on her excellence, showing by her response how she is a woman philosopher (145).88 c) Boldness Another aspect that is often commented on is the woman's boldness. For her daughter's sake, she broke custom and stood up to a visiting rabbi and miracle worker (Ringe 1985, 71). So despite racial, religious, and gender barriers, and despite Jesus' initial rebuff, she perseveres in trying to get her daughter healed (Grassi 1988, 11; Malbon 1992, 44). Related traits include her gutsiness (Ringe 1985, 65), her risk-taking (Kopas 1985, 916), and her strength (Downing 1992, 145). It is clear that she is bold in both action and word (Malbon 1983, 37). d) Other traits What other traits can be attributed to the Greek Syrophoenician woman? There are those traits that seem most linked to her own person: independence, confidence, self-possession and courage (Ringe 1985, 65, 72; Tufariua 1990, 50). There are traits that come out of her actions to 155 heal her daughter, such as her loyalty, compassion, a capacity for sacrificial service, and maternal care for her daughter (Rhoads 1994, 361; Rhoads and Michie 1982, 129; Heil 1992, 163). There are also traits that are connected with her interactions with Jesus: she is seen as needy, and trusting of Jesus (Williams 1994, 121; Kopas 1985, 917). She is respectful when she prostrates herself at Jesus' feet. A first-century reader may look through Jesus' eyes and initially ascribe other traits to the woman (since she is a Greek Syrophoenician woman from Tyre): oppressive, superior, idolatrous, unworthy scavenger. She is then rejected by Jesus (Williams 1994, 121). She shows humility and subservience in accepting his comparison of her and her daughter to dogs. Measuring up to the Markan standard of judgment of being least, she "willingly lowers herself to the status of a dog in order that the demon might be exorcised from her daughter" (Rhoads and Michie 1982, 131). As with many minor characters in Mark, she has a disregard for status; she is willing to show that she is dependent on Yahweh for help, and willing to put herself last: in so doing, she is worthy to be put first and included in His kingdom (Rhoads 1982, 419). She shows sensitivity to the situation in which Jesus finds himself, yet displays persistence and strength and resilience in not giving up even when she is initially • 89 rejected. She shows that she has influence when she changes Jesus' mind. She also shows obedience by following Jesus' command to go home; she does not question the fact that the daughter could be made well when she was not even present at their discussion. e) Her traits are useful when comparing her to other characters The traits attributed to the Greek Syrophoenician woman describe the kind of character the reader encounters in the narrative. Going through the process of ascribing traits to her character is beneficial not just so the interpreter has words to describe her, but because the interpreter finds words with which to compare her with other characters within Mark and within other pieces of literature. These texts serve as analogues to Mk 7:24-30 and provide 156 comparisons between this woman and other characters. Her faith links her with other suppliants and followers of Jesus. In conjunction with her character indicators, her traits link her with other women, other parents, and other Gentiles (both those involved with healings and those who are not). Her intelligence (her 'word' and her wit) connect this passage with other controversy dialogues; as a debater of Jesus, she reigns supreme within Mark. Her boldness suggests that, within the first-century context, she is an unusual woman; it bears comparing her with other women in Mark and even with excellent philosophizing women from other literary contexts. C. The Categorization of the Character of the Greek Syrophoenician Woman Traits are a useful way to link the woman not only with other characters but also with themes that are developed within the larger narrative. These connections serve to create classifications for Markan characters. The Greek Syrophoenician woman can be classified according to some of her dominant character indicators and traits. The following are categories for the Greek Syrophoencian woman in Mk 7:24-30: a minor character, a female, a suppliant with faith, Gentile (Greek and Syrophoenician), and a debater with Jesus. These categories can connect her with some of the themes and the sociological relationships within Mark. As a female, she is related to male-female relations as well as to other females in Mark. As a suppliant with faith, she is related to the themes of healing and faith in Mark, as well as to the different subgroups of suppliants (females, Gentiles, parents). As a Gentile, she is related to the other Gentiles portrayed in the larger narrative, to the issue of Jew-Gentile relations within Mark, and to the themes of clean/unclean and insider/outsider. As a minor character, she can be compared with the other minor characters (what kinds of traits do they share, what traits are different between them); she can also be compared with the major characters, such as the 157 disciples. Many of these areas have already been discussed in existing literature.90 Analyzing her through these categories, in conjunction with the other characters, themes, and sociological relationships is a way to resolve the Greek Syrophoenician woman back into the larger Markan narrative. It is not within the scope of this paper to include all of these areas of comparison. What is important about this character's influence on the Gospel of Mark is that she is Gentile (which is why Jesus initially rebuffs her) and she is female (which is what makes her response to this rebuff so remarkable within a first-century context). Therefore, I shall focus on these two categories, which when combined, make her character unique in Mark.91 I shall discuss the analogues to Mk 7:24-30 that are associated with these two categories. These analogues highlight certain of her traits; they also tie her into the Markan themes of gender, Gentile portrayal, and Gentile mission, and the sociological relations between males and females, and Jews and Gentiles. II. The Resolution of the Character of the Greek Syrophoenician Woman Back into the Markan Narrative Analyzing the narrative analogues that are connected with a certain story or character is an important step in the process of character analysis. It allows the interpreter to compare and contrast his/her insights about the 'abstracted' character against other stories within the larger narrative to verify if his/her conclusions make sense within that context. Prior to Mk 7:24-30, the narrator includes stories in which Jesus has encounters with suppliants who are female, Gentile, or have come on behalf of another person. In the review of the literature, both intratextual and intertextual analogues were discussed. Because of these analogues, interpreters have highlighted certain traits about the woman: she is in need, is a concerned parent, has faith in Jesus' power, is courageous, is willing to step outside social boundaries, and has 158 understanding about what Jesus is trying to convey about God's message (even though she initially appears to be an outsider). In this section of the paper, I shall focus on the analogues associated with the Greek Syrophoenician woman being female and Gentile. It is not in the purview of this paper to provide an exhaustive analysis of these analogues, but I shall point the way for future analyses by providing some initial comments. Using the information gleaned about the 'abstracted' character of the Greek Syrophoenician woman helps me understand the variety of connections that are possible with other characters and themes within the Gospel of Mark. These connections shall be explored as I begin to resolve her character back into the larger narrative. A. Female Setting up analogues for Mk 7:24-30 involves looking at the overall male-female relations in Mark. It also involves examining other depictions of women, including several from Mark as well as a few from the literature of the first century. 1. Male-Female Relations in Mark Male-female relations in Mark have already been mentioned when discussing the Greek Syrophoenician woman's character indicators. The Markan story world is clearly androcentric. Its social structure is male-dominated, although positive value can be assigned to women (Kee 1992, 230). The Gospel of Mark is similar to the other Synoptic Gospels, which "are androcentric in their narrative portrayal, describing male characters with more detail than female characters" (Dewey 1997, 53). Even though patriarchal norms are evident in the Markan narrative, these norms are called into question. The narrative includes material that is contrary to first-century cultural norms, such as Jesus having public contact with women and the portrayal of 159 women in language that is used to depict discipleship (Rhoads 1994, 367-368).92 In this way, Mark is anti-patriarchal. Although Jesus initially rebuffs the woman, he does then listen to her and allow her to influence him. Women are shown to be models of faith through serving, being least, and giving their lives (Rhoads 1994, 368; Beavis 1988). 2. Female Characters As mentioned in the review of the literature, other studies have begun to explore the area of women in Mark. There are sixteen individual female characters in Mark.93 For this paper, I shall focus on those that are most pertinent for understanding the Greek Syrophoenician woman. These characters are women involved with healings, and the mothers of daughters.94 a) Female characters involved in Markan healings Several studies have discussed females involved with healings (Munro 1982; Selvidge 1990; Dewey 1993; Rhoads 1994). Four Markan stories involve women and healings: Simon's mother-in-law (1:29-31); Jairus' daughter (5:21-24, 35-43); the hemorrhaging woman (5:25-34); and the Greek Syrophoenician woman and her daughter (7:24-30). These stories provide various examples of the extent to which women conform to cultural standards. 1) Simon's mother-in-law (Mk 1:29-31). This is the first Markan healing involving a woman. There are few counter-cultural elements in this story; after the woman is healed, she serves the men, "restored to her proper role (in cooking and serving food) in a peasant patriarchal household" (Dewey 1993, 186). She does not even speak, and the only action she takes of her own accord is to serve.95 This is in contrast with the woman in Mk 7:24-30, who is counter-cultural not only in her approaching and speaking to a Jewish male, but also in her winning a debate with him. 160 2) Hemorrhaging woman (Mk 5:25-34). The stories of the hemorrhaging woman and the Greek Syrophoenician woman share common qualities, due to their both being healing narratives. Mark's initial description of the Greek Syrophoenician woman is reminiscent of the hemorrhaging woman (Williams 1994, 46). Both women have heard of Jesus (5:25-37; 7:25), and both characters fall at Jesus' feet (5:33; 7:25). The two women differ, however, in the characterization devices the narrator chooses to use. Unlike with the Greek Syrophoenician woman, the narrator includes considerable information about the background, thoughts, and feelings of the hemorrhaging woman.96 Although the hemorrhaging woman speaks to Jesus, her speech representation is through narratized dialogue (she "told him the whole truth") (5:33). The details of the woman's speech are not important, since it is her subversive actions that have an impact on the story. The other women up to this point in the narrative have simply served Jesus; in the unusual case of the hemorrhaging woman, she touches him stealthily, but she only approaches him openly when he suggests it (Dewey 1993, 185). This is contrary to the Greek Syrophoenician woman, who approaches him openly of her own accord, and whose speech has impact on his actions. A feature unique to these two healing narratives is that the two women act counter-culturally by first-century standards (Dewey 1993, 190). The hemorrhaging woman "acts shamelessly" by touching Jesus' garment while she is in an unclean state, as well as by talking in 0 7 public (188). Jesus, however, does not reject her; he welcomes her as his kin, referring to her as his daughter; he compounds the public dishonour and the shame of the woman's actions by welcoming her as kin (Dewey 1993, 188). He also explicitly mentions her faith (5:34). The Markan text about the hemorrhaging woman gives no explicit explanation of the woman's impure status or of the other counter-cultural aspects of the story; it shows Jesus affirming this woman in her counter-cultural actions (188). In the story about the Greek Syrophoenician woman, it is unclear whether there is a purity issue for Jesus; in his metaphor he places the dogs 161 at a distance to the children. Is this due to the dogs' impure state or is Jesus concerned about the idolatrous influence that the 'pagan dogs' may have on the 'Jewish children'? Since in Mk 7:1-23 Jesus rejected the idea that impurities enter from outside the body, it is more likely in Mk 7:24-30 that he is concerned with the impurities coming inside the heart and mind due to the influences of idolatry. Unlike with the hemorrhaging woman, Jesus does not initially support the Greek Syrophoenician woman's brazen actions in approaching him. This may be due to the religious affiliations of the two women: the hemorrhaging woman is Jewish, while the Greek Syrophoenician woman is Gentile. When the Greek Syrophoenician woman shows how her request for assistance is acceptable within God's kingdom, Jesus does accept her; at the end of this story, he affirms this woman's counter-cultural words and actions by healing her daughter. The hemorrhaging woman and the Greek Syrophoenician woman both benefit from Jesus' healing power because of their "bold and active faith" (Malbon 1983, 35). 3) Jairus' wife and his daughter (Mk 5:21 - 24, 35-43). As mentioned in the review of the literature, there are similarities and differences between Jairus' story and the Greek Syrophoenician woman's story.98 Since both these stories involve daughters, they share some vocabulary. The diminutive of'daughter,' Ovyazpiov ('little daughter'), is only used in Mark in these two stories (5:23; 7:25). In the story with Jairus, Jesus and the narrator refer to the daughter as a naidwv(5:39,40,40); Jesus also refers to her as a Kopamov('maid') (5:41,42).99 Although naiSiov often refers to small children (up to age seven), the reader is told specifically that this girl is twelve years old (5:42).100 It is possible, therefore, that the Greek Syrophoenician woman's daughter could be anywhere from a young child to at least a twelve-year-old. There are contrasts between the parents involved in the two stories, such as how strictly they adhere to cultural norms and how their faith is portrayed. The wife's actions are within the realm of cultural norms. There is very little information provided about her, except that she was taken by Jesus, along with her husband and some of Jesus' disciples, into the room where their 162 daughter was. She, along with these others, witnesses Jesus heal the girl (5:42); Jesus orders them not to tell anyone and to give the girl something to eat. This task of serving the girl would come under the mother's role (just as it did for Simon's mother-in-law to serve Jesus and some of his disciples, 1:31). When Jairus is told that his daughter is dead, Jesus says to Jairus, "Do not fear, only believe" (5:36). When Jesus does raise the girl and she gets up and walks around, Jairus and his wife and Jesus' disciples are "overcome with amazement" (5:42). In Mk 7:24-30, the narrator does not describe the Greek Syrophoenician woman's reaction when she sees that her daughter is healed. With this Markan analogue of parents, it is clear that the Gentile mother shows more faith than the narrator grants the two Jewish parents. The Greek Syrophoenician woman does not express amazement that Jesus healed her daughter, unlike the other two parents; she believes in Jesus' power to heal, even over distance. In fact, she even convinces Jesus that his power can extend to her and her daughter. The woman's implicit faith in Jesus is highlighted. b) Another Markan mother and daughter There are four stories that include mothers with daughters in Mark: Jesus' mother and sisters (3:31-35); Jairus' wife and daughter (5:22-24, 35-43); Herodias and her daughter (6:17-29); and the Greek Syrophoenician woman and her daughter (7:24-30). There is very little information provided about the first two mothers. It is clear that Jesus connects motherhood with being least, being a servant to others, and, above all else, doing the will of God. 1 0 1 The third story is a prime example of a mother and daughter who contrast sharply with Jesus' idea of motherhood, and it serves as a useful analogue to Mk 7:24-30. 1) Herodias and her daughter (Mk 6:17-29). The story of Herod, his wife Herodias, and their daughter appears before Mk 7:24-30. Jesus has just sent out his disciples to heal others. Herod hears of the activities of Jesus and thinks, "John whom I beheaded, has been raised" 163 (6:14-15). The narrator then takes the reader on a flashback and tells the story of how John the Baptist was beheaded at the request of Herodias and her daughter (6:16-29). In the mind of the first-century reader, Herod Antipas and Herodias could be considered as either Jewish or Gentile; it is safe to say that the reader would at least have considered them 'bad' Jews (those that are portrayed as going against the wishes of God).102 The reader is not told of John's reaction, nor of Jesus' reaction, so why did the narrator include this story (including details about Herodias and her daughter and the exact circumstances under which John was beheaded)? It would appear that the narrator includes this story to explain the deeds of Herod, Herodias, and her daughter. Herod had married Herodias (his brother's wife) and John had told him that that was not lawful (6:18); for this reason, Herodias carried a grudge against John and wanted him killed. Herod would not kill John because he "feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him" (6:20). When Herodias' daughter pleased Herod by dancing for him at his birthday banquet, he told her that she could ask for whatever she wished from him (6:21-22). The girl, not knowing what to ask for, asked her mother's advice; Herodias told the girl to ask for John the Baptist's head. Although Herod was "deeply grieved," he held to his oath and had John beheaded, delivering the head to the girl (who gave it to her mother) (6:26-28). This story sets a precedent for the reader that there are mothers and daughters who can harm a man of God (thereby going against God's will). In comparing the Greek Syrophoenician woman and her daughter with Herodias and her daughter, it is clear that the former pair had 'the things of God' in their minds and hearts, and the latter pair did not. Herodias disobeys God's law by marrying Herod and actively seeks revenge for John the Baptist's judgment of her and her husband (6:19). She uses the opportunity of her daughter pleasing Herod as the way to get her revenge, but this action goes against the will of God. Not only is one not supposed to murder anyone (Exodus 20:13), it is bad judgment on Herodias' part to kill someone who so obviously is recognized, even by her husband, as a holy 164 and righteous man (6:20). Herodias does not consider the welfare of her daughter, nor what might benefit her daughter most, but only considers her own desires. Herodias gets what she wants, but in the process she excludes herself from God's kingdom. When Herod offers his daughter anything she wants, his daughter also has an opportunity to do good; she does not, however, use that opportunity to grow into the wisdom of womanhood, but instead relies on the distorted judgment of her mother. The next Markan example of motherhood is the Greek Syrophoenician woman and her daughter. The mother in this story acts on her daughter's behalf, seeking healing for her. She shows, by her response to Jesus, that she has an understanding of the kingdom of God, that she accepts the way this man of God portrays her place in it, and that she is obedient to his command. Like Herodias, she also uses an opportunity that arises to get what she wants, but to unselfish ends, so that her daughter's needs are satisfied. In this regard, one could even compare Herodias' daughter and the Greek Syrophoenician woman: it is clear that the latter acts out of wisdom, relying on her own judgment and acting out of compassion for her daughter's welfare (Kopas 1985, 917).103 The traits of the Greek Syrophoenician woman highlighted in this comparison are that she is selfless, has faith, and is compassionate and obedient (unlike Herodias), and that she is independent and wise (unlike Herodias' daughter). c) Other female characters from intratextual analogues Intertextual analogues are included in examining Mk 7:24-30 since these stories offer insights into what a first-century reader might expect of a Greek Syrophoenician female character. What other strong female characters exist whose stories might echo in the mind of the reader when he/she reads about the Greek Syrophoenician woman? How do their characterizations compare with that of the woman in Mk 7:24-30? I shall discuss two women whose stories are previously unexplored analogues to the Markan story of the Greek Syrophoenician woman. These women are both Gentile. Jezebel, who appears in the Hebrew 165 Bible, is one of the women (1 Kgs 16:28 - 2 Kgs 9:37).104 Eumetis, who appears in a Greek source, is the other (from Plutarch's Dinner of the Seven Wise Men, Loeb Classical Library 148C-155E).105 1) Jezebel and Ahab (1 Kgs 16:28 - 2 Kgs 9:37). While discussing the significance of the term 'Phoenician' in the Hebrew Scriptures, I mentioned the character of Jezebel. She is a Syrian princess who marries Ahab, king of Israel: "Ahab son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him . . . he took as his wife Jezebel daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him" (1 Kgs 16:30-31).106 Her father was the king of both Tyre and Sidon.107 Jezebel is not only a woman of the Syrian coast, but she is of the upper-class nobility, a partner in government with her husband Ahab; she is a powerful and resourceful woman, full of initiative and vigour (even to the point of aggression) (Brenner 1985, 19-22).108 As I mentioned earlier, the Phoenician religion is referred to in the Hebrew Scriptures as the worship of Baal and his consort. In Hebrew Biblical accounts, Baal worship was promulgated in Israel due to Arab's marriage to Jezebel (Brian Peckham, "Phoenicia, History of," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary); as mentioned earlier, it is quite possible that Jezebel served as both High Priestess and patroness of the Baal cult (although the biblical narrators are not explicit about these roles) (Brenner 1985, 28).109 After the Israelite prophet Elijah wins a contest against the prophets of Baal (1 Kgs 18:1-46), Elijah kills these prophets. When Jezebel hears about this she threatens to kill Elijah, so Elijah is afraid and flees for his life (1 Kgs 19:1-2). Ahab, who went against Yahweh's law by worshipping Baal (among many evils), meets his demise in battle against the Arameans/Syrians (interestingly enough), and the dogs lick up his blood (1 Kgs 22:38). Later, Jezebel is killed as a result of the work of Elijah's successor, Elisha, to avenge her idolatry, and she is eaten by dogs (2 Kgs 9:10, 33-37).'10 These analogues give pause for thought and comparison. The stories of Jezebel and Ahab not only combine the Syrians and the Israelites, but also includes the work of a man of God 166 and several references to dogs. There is another mention of Syrians, Israelites, and dogs in the narrative about Jezebel. Hazael compares himself to a dog when Elisha says Hazael would cause damage to Israel once he became king of Aram/Syria: "What is your servant, who is a mere dog, that he should do this great thing?" (2 Kgs 8:13). Hazael becomes the reigning king of Aram/Syria, and is so when the story of Jezebel's demise is recounted. According to Yahweh's plan, Hazael wins against Israel and Judah to avenge the people's worship of Baal. Is it possible that the reference in Mk 7:24-30 of the woman being Greek and Syrophoenician, and being compared to a dog, is intended to remind the reader of the stories of Jezebel? The women presumably share the Phoenician religion and are both of the upper class; they both take bold action and are influential, causing strong reactions against them from Yahweh's prophets. The Markan narrator would not be making an explicit comparison between these stories, but perhaps offering an implicit reminder that a bold Syrian woman who believes in a foreign god can wreak havoc, particularly when threatening the life of an Israelite prophet. The scavenging unclean dogs in Jezebel's story and the humble low status adopted by Hazael are both images of dogs that the reader sees again in Mk 7:24-30. Perhaps the characterization of the woman in Mk 7:24-30 is a combination of two Syrian women with whom Elijah had dealings: Jezebel (with her dogs) and the widow of Zarephath (and her son). These two Hebrew Biblical stories offer a midrashic explanation for some of the incongruities in Jesus' reaction to the woman in Mark: Jesus is first harsh to the woman and then agrees to help her. On the one hand, Jesus' harsh behaviour could be explained by the oppressive socio-economic relationship between Tyre and Galilee, and Jesus' change toward the woman could result from her acceptance of his view of the kingdom of God. On the other hand, Jesus' behaviour could be explained by examining the stories from 1 and 2 Kings in a midrashic way; these Hebrew Biblical stories offer a literary precedent for Mk 7:24-30. In 1 Kings, the narrator introduces Ahab and Jezebel (and describes their idolatry and Yahweh's disapproval), 167 then introduces Elijah and the widow of Zarephath. The widow feeds Elijah, he feeds both of them through his power to make their food last, and then Elijah saves her son. Elijah goes from that event to winning a contest against the Baal priests and killing them and, as a result, is then threatened by Jezebel. The widow's story is intercalated between the introduction of Jezebel and Ahab and their subsequent atrocities and deaths."1 In Mark, Jesus encountering an upper-class Phoenician woman might have evoked memories of Jezebel in a first-century reader's mind; both women are upper-class Phoenician idolaters. In the Greek Syrophoenician woman's reply, the reader (and Jesus) become sure that the woman does believe in the power of the man of God (and is, therefore, more like the widow than like Jezebel). It is clear that, in the stories about Jezebel, the widow of Zarephath, and the Greek Syrophoenician woman, God can make use of either a Syrian or an Israelite towards His ends; if a person follows God's will, he/she will get their needs met, and, if not, he/she will be punished. 2) Eumetis (Dinner of the Seven Wise Men 148C-155E). Although it was rare for a woman to speak out in a male-dominated society, there are examples of witty women doing just that. Plutarch's story of Eumetis is such an example. Eumetis is the daughter of Cleobulus of Lindos on Rhodos, one of the seven sages. She is described as "wise and far-famed Eumetis . . . [with a] cleverness and skill that she shows in her riddles . . . for these she uses like dice as a means of occasional amusement, and risks an encounter with all comers. But she is also possessed of wonderful sense, a statesman's mind, and an amiable character, and she has influence with her father so that his government of the citizens has become milder and more popular" (148D-E). Both Eumetis and the Greek Syrophoenician woman indicate that there are examples of women having witty discussions and influencing how men respond to the world. Eumetis is an example, therefore, of a remarkable, independent, and counter-cultural female character, on which to base comparisons with the Greek Syrophoenician woman. 168 Although the stories of Eumetis and the Greek Syrophoenician woman both involve customs of eating, the portrayal of the two women by their respective narrators differs in this respect: in Mk 7:24-30, the reader is given an example of the woman's wit, while in Plutarch's story, Eumetis' cleverness is just referred to by the men. Corley, who discusses customs of eating, points out that it was unusual for women to remain after dinner for the symposium, and, if they did, they rarely spoke (in Osiek and Balch 1997, 128-129). Aune (1978) notes that "Plutarch, who violates custom by having a woman (non-prostitute) present at a symposion, is nevertheless careful to have her remain silent in spite of his views on the equality of those present at symposia and his notion that all present should participate" (98).112 The Markan narrator takes a risk, however, and portrays the Greek Syrophoenician woman as speaking out. The narrator also diverges from customs of eating (by Jewish standards) when the Greek Syrophoenician woman moves the dogs in under the table, indicating in this way that the Gentiles now have fellowship with the Jews in accessing the life-sustaining power of the Israelite God. B. Gentile In comparing analogues to Mk 7:24-30, those that involve the Gentiles are some of the most crucial for understanding how the Greek Syrophoenician woman affects the larger Markan narrative. There are three parts to this comparison: the issue of Jew-Gentile relations within Mark, how other Gentiles are portrayed within Mark, and the related theme of Gentile mission. 1. Jew-Gentile Relations There is a shift in Jew-Gentile relations within the Markan gospel. Just as Jesus warns, "many who are first will be last, and the last will be first" (10:31); Gentiles, and particularly 169 Gentile women, are the last within the first-century Jewish world (Malbon 1983, 42). The Greek Syrophoenician woman is pivotal in the development of Jesus' mission to the Gentiles, so that the 'last' may also be 'first' (Rhoads 1994, 363). Jew-Gentile relations are obviously integral to Mk 7:24-30, since Jesus is in Gentile territory and therefore has a greater likelihood of coming into contact with Gentiles. As mentioned in the review of the literature, there was a fundamental social boundary between Jews and Gentiles in the first century (Dewy 1993, 189). That boundary was required by Jewish laws to guard against uncleanness.113 In various parts of Mark, the narrator is concerned with purity issues, one example being Jesus' dispute with the Pharisees: Jesus concludes that what defiles enters from the heart and not the stomach (7:19). Therefore the purity rules that separate the Jews and Gentiles are rejected by the Markan Jesus. "Redefinition of new purity rules such as Mark describes here . . . can be thus construed as redefinition of a group and its boundaries. Insider clarification is essential" (Malina and Rohrbaugh 1992, 222). After Mk 7:1-23, the story about a female Gentile provides an opportunity to begin to clarify who is considered an insider and in so doing the Markan Jesus begins to establish new boundaries: acceptance as an insider is conditional on the person's acceptance of Yahweh, with Jesus as his broker. In many stories in Mark, Jesus disregards the 'maps' laid out to establish the boundaries of what is pure and impure in all areas—times, places, persons, things, meals, and 'others' that pollute by contact; "[b]y disregarding such maps the Jesus movement asserts a clear rejection of the established Temple purity system" (222-224).114 Within the Markan story world, gender and ethnic boundaries (along with many other boundaries) were definitely crossed by Jesus and by the Gentiles who came to Jesus for assistance. 170 2. Gentile Portrayal in Mark Comparing the portrayal of the Greek Syrophoenician woman with other Gentiles in Mark helps clarify aspects of her characterization as well as the function her character plays within the theme of Gentile mission. In the Markan narrative, Jews and the other non-Jews are not specifically identified as separate groups, but rather are identified through location (and the details included within those stories). The Greek Syrophoenician woman is the only Markan character clearly identified as non-Jewish: she is identified as both Greek and Syrophoenician. Through identifying Gentiles by location, seven individuals and five groups of people are found 7 / in Mark; there are also five references to an abstract entity sOvrj ('the nations'), which would include Gentiles.115 The first Markan reference to Gentiles is the multitude that comes to Jesus to be healed (including both Jews and Gentiles) (3:8). Next is the Gerasene demoniac, along with the swineherders and others from the neighbourhood (5:1-20). After the food-laws controversy section (in which Jesus declares all foods clean), Jesus goes back to a Gentile area. That is where the Greek Syrophoenician woman comes to him on behalf of her daughter (7:24-30). After the daughter is healed, Jesus goes into other Gentile areas, healing a deaf man with a speech impediment (7:31-37), feeding a group of four thousand (8:1-10), healing the blind man from Bethsaida (8:22-26), and then teaching the crowd in Caesarea Philippi (8:34 -9:1). Although these are the miracles, healings, and teachings that Jesus does among the Gentiles, he also makes several allusions to sBvrj ('the nations') (which could include both Jews and Gentiles) (10:33; 10:41-45; 11:17; 13:8, 10).116 Later in the narrative, he encounters Pilate (15:1-15), the soldiers who mock him and crucify him (15:16-24), and the centurion who sees Jesus breathe his last breath (15:39, 44-45).117 An in-depth analysis of Gentile portrayal is warranted, but that task is outside the range of this paper. I shall discuss five analogues that clarify Jesus' interactions with the Greek Syrophoenician woman, and whose character portrayals help to highlight certain traits about that woman. These five stories are about: the 171 crowd that includes those from Tyre; the Gerasene demoniac and the people from that neighbourhood; the deaf man with the speech impediment from the Decapolis; the feeding of the four thousand; and the blind man from Bethsaida. I shall mention the other Gentile characters in my summary of Markan Gentile portrayal. a) The great multitude (Jews and Gentiles) (Mk 3:7-12) The first instance of Gentile healing appears early on in Mark, when a "great multitude from Galilee . . . hearing all that [Jesus] was doing they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon"(3:7-8). Like the Greek Syrophoenician woman (as with many suppliants), people hear about Jesus and come to seek healing, believing that Jesus has the power to help them.118 There is an element of secrecy in this story, just as there is in Jesus' coming to Tyre: he asked the disciples to have a boat ready because "he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, 'You are the Son of God!' But he sternly ordered them not to make him known" (3:7-12).119 The only concern Jesus expresses is that he might get crushed; he does not insult the Gentiles, he does not rebuff them, he heals them (3:10). Tyre is mentioned three times in Mark: once in this story (3:8), once in the story about the Greek Syrophoenician woman (7:24), and once immediately after her story, as Jesus leaves to 1 90 go on his way to the Decapolis (7:31). Burkill suggests that Jesus going to Tyre in 7:24 is part of the theme of'reciprocal visitation' (1972, 87-88); Jesus visits the various places from which the multitudes of people came in 3:7-12. Jesus does not visit the crowd, however, in his reciprocal visitation to Tyre; he hides from them (Wrede 1971,141-142). Obviously, the narrator has a plan when he portrays Jesus going to those areas that are mentioned, since a mission is created in those places and to those peoples. In the case of Mk 7:24-30, however, 172 there are some barriers to that visitation. These barriers explain why the woman from Tyre is rejected by Jesus later in the narrative. The next appearance by a Gentile in Mark provides the reader with some understanding as to why these barriers exist. b) Gerasene demoniac, the swineherders, and others from the neighbourhood (Mk 5:1-20) Legion, of Gerasenes, is the first healing of an individual Gentile in Mark. The narrator intimates to the reader that this story takes place in Gentile