Richard Bauckham on “why do you call me good?” (Mark 10:17-27)
I am not going to type out every word in this section of the interview; I invite the reader to listen to the whole thing. However, I want to include key phrases and sentences of Bauckham, and intersperse with my own comments.
Beginning at the 43:31 mark – Richard Bauckham – “can I come back to Mark ?
because in Mark chapter 2 – who can forgive sins but God alone?”, he is “expressing precisely one of these uniquely divine qualities” – qualities of God .
Mark 6 – “What kind of man is this who the wind and waves obey his voice? Only God can rule the chaos – Order out of chaos; a very OT idea about God.”
Mark 10:17 ff – “Why do you call me good, only God is good. Actually works the other way, Jesus is good, so Jesus is God. Bauckham calls this a “wonderful double entendre”, and “if you are not thinking, you would say that Jesus is saying I am not God”; but Jesus is actually trying to get the rich young ruler to think about true goodness. Thus, Bauckham is confirming the orthodox position of how to interpret this passage. Jesus is not denying that He is good or God, but in an indirect way, Jesus is actually claiming to be God. In effect, Jesus is saying, “If you recognize Me as good and call Me good, then you should see that I am God, since only God is good.” But the man didn’t really understand absolute goodness.
Truth never changes. I originally wrote this on August 21, 2012, at the other blog I sometimes write at; and it is still true.
Richard Bauckham calls Mark 10:17-18 “a wonderful double entendre” and shows Jesus is actually claiming to be God! (see below for exact place in a radio interview.)
A double entendre (literally: double meaning) is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first (more surface) meaning is straightforward and direct speech, while the second meaning is indirect and “underneath the surface” and usually the real intention behind the bare words.
Oriental cultures, Middle Easterners, especially Iranians, use this kind of language and technique all the time in their poetry and their culture of “saving face” and “honor vs. shame”; has…
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