Update to Section Three
As expected, this section is time consuming. It is in this section where I have the three main characters traveling from Rome to Jerusalem and back collecting various oral and written traditions of Jesus.
One of the aspects of writing a traveling type journal is to make sure the geography is accurate as well as the time it takes to travel. I did come across an interesting website called Orbis, The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World. Simply put, Orbis allows one to access Roman travel in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.
So, it is to this point in the voyage that many cities, towns, synagogues, home churches and private homes are being visited. People have shared their stories about Jesus, of which are expressed in the Gospel of Mark. Since there are many stories, it is obviously taking time to work through this.
Looking ahead in terms of how all these stories will be molded into a theological treatise is always in the forefront. The Gospel of Mark is just not a collection of stories about Jesus’ healings, miracles, exorcisms, and passion. This book is a complex literary masterpiece that is structured in such a way as to provide the audience a way to recall the contents. Keep in mind, many of the people living in first century were illiterate. They were not capable of being able to read a work like Mark. Therefore, once these writings would become available, as did the letters of Paul and other prominent church leaders, they were read to their congregations. In addition, numerous copies were made and circulated throughout the world. Just by that alone you can appreciate how many clerical errors might have been made or how many interpretive judgments might have been inserted during the readings.
Therefore, the section of this historical novel is to the point where all the traditions have been collected. The journey back to Rome will begin as well as the conversation regarding the construction of the writing. Theological emphasis, thematic organization, and the writer’s redactive skills will play a part in this new type of “gospel genre.” This however is reserved for the fourth section. A section that again will have to lean on embellishment. Is the author the one from whom tradition records as the scribe of Peter, John Mark? If so, how did it come bout that he was educated in the Greek language? Was it a Greek speaking Jewish Christian person? And if so, how they gain access to all the traditions of Jesus? And what about the composition itself? Did one person just sit down and compose this complex literary work by themselves or did they consult with other people and have assistance in integrating the literary devices like intercalations, chiasms, and frames into the text? These are all questions that will never be answered and only speculation can guide those who inquire. So it is that in this novel there will be the main character who is a Jewish Christian who has the trust of the Christian community to be able to collect the stories about Jesus. Then there is the young Greek scholar, the son of wealth Greek Roman citizen who has the financial means to travel and collect the stories and then to organize the work into a final draft. And finally, there will be a third character who is the young Greek scholar’s past tutor who will assist in the organization and suggest the literary devices of which he has studied and utilized in his own scholarly work.
And that is where the novel is at now. Draft one of many to come, 142 pages of single spaced text with many more to come and 110000 words with many more to come.