Musings on Mark: A Brief Response to Erik Manning on Markan Christology

INTRODUCTION The central question of the Markan Gospel is found near its narrative center in Mark 8:27-30. “Who do people say that I am?” he queries the disciples on their way to Caesarea Philippi (v. 27). A flurry of answers proceeds: people have speculated he is John the Baptist or Elijah or one of the... Continue Reading →

John R. Donahue and Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Mark, Sacra Pagina, vol. 2 (The Liturgical Press, 2002), 193. If Mark reacts in any way to the Cynic tradition it is rather to distinguish Jesus and his disciples from that tradition and implicitly to reject it as a lifestyle for Christian missionaries. Jesus' disciples are... Continue Reading →

John R. Donahue and Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Mark, Sacra Pagina vol. 2 (The Liturgical Press, 2002), 160-161. Especially significant [to Mark 4:35-41] is Ps 107:23-32 (LXX 106:23-32), which Mark's narrative virtually paraphrases. According to that psalm people "went down to the sea in ships" and "saw the deeds of the Lord" (v. 23).... Continue Reading →

Gerd Theissen, The New Testament: A Literary History (Fortress Press, 2012), 43-44. The Gospel of Mark is artfully structured. It consists of individual pericopes, each of which makes its own point. Through their arrangement into a gospel they acquire a "surplus of meaning": in the framework of the story of Jesus they point to the mystery... Continue Reading →

Musings on Mark: The Markan Jesus on Divorce

"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her...." - Jesus In Mark 10:1-12 we read of an encounter between "some Pharisees" and Jesus over the question of divorce. They ask him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" (10:2, NRSV) to which Jesus replies, "What did Moses command you?"... Continue Reading →

Musings on Mark: Will a Sign Be Given?

Following the feeding of the four thousand (Mark 8:1-10), the Pharisees confront Jesus and begin "asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him" (8:11). The sign would serve as divine verification of his messianic ministry. Yet Jesus is a bit flustered. We are told that "he sighed deeply in his spirit," a phrase... Continue Reading →

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