Random Passages:

Darth Harley was snoring loudly at the back of World Religions class while Li’l Yoda took detailed notes of the class discussion:

Y: “Wake up, Harley!,” Yoda chirped, “You’re going to get in trouble!”

H: “Oops, sorry, what did I miss?”

Y: “Li’l Richard is arguing with the teacher again that Jesus never existed.”

H: “I like Li’l Richard, he’s so random! What passage are they arguing over?”

Y: Mark 4:11-12. “It’s weird:”

11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12 in order that

‘they may indeed look, but not perceive,
    and may indeed listen, but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’”

H: “What does Ritchie think it means?”

Y: “He says only those who were part of the Christian club knew Jesus was a mythical being who was never on earth, while maybe Mark was trying to trick the people who were not part of the club to think Jesus was a man killed on earth.”

H: “Well, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean that, because the club members wouldn’t be shown to be violent at Jesus’ arrest if they knew all along he was supposed to die.”

Y: So what do you think it means?

H: “It’s interesting, and really a random passage. I think it might have to do with the “guilt by association” of Jesus’s followers who were as guilty as Jesus was in the public eye. Think about the young man in Mark who was seen as guilty as the naked Adam:”

51 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked. (Mark 14:51-52)

H: “But, in the tomb he was clothed in righteousness in God’s eyes because he followed Jesus who was not really a criminal but rather the holiest of holy men:”

As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in white. (Mark 16:5)

** For an example of a scholar arguing Mark may be trying to trick outsiders (not followers) into thinking Jesus was a real person who was killed, see Dr. Richard Carrier, time 20:42 here