Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the Way of the Lord: Christological Exegesis of the Old Testament in the Gospel of Mark by Joel Marcus

By Shiner, Whitney | Interpretation, April 1994 | Go to article overview

Shorter Reviews and Notices -- the Way of the Lord: Christological Exegesis of the Old Testament in the Gospel of Mark by Joel Marcus


Shiner, Whitney, Interpretation


THE WAY OF THE LORD: CHRISTOLOGICAL EXEGESIS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT IN THE GOSPEL OF MARK, by Joel Marcus. Westminster/John Knox Press, Louisville, 1992. pp. $25.00. ISBN 0-664-21949-7.

In this study Joel Marcus applies his impressive knowledge of ancient Jewish exegesis to an investigation of Mark's christology. He argues, drawing on a wide range of intertestamental and rabbinic sources, that Mark adapts much of his exegesis from eschatological interpretations that were current in the Jewish communities of his time, modifying them when necessary to accommdate his understanding of Jesus as a suffering Messiah. The book includes chapters discussing the Isaianic background of Mark (1:2-3), Son of God as a royal title (1:9-11), Moses as king (9:2-8); and the Markan discussions of Elijah (9:11-13), the rejected stone (12:10-11), and David's son (12:35-37). An extensive study of the passion narrative argues that Mark made use of Zechariah 9-14, Daniel 7, the psalms of the righteous sufferer, and the servant songs from Isaiah. Marcus believes that the Gospel of Mark was written as a direct response to the Jewish revolt of 66-74 A.D., and he often contrasts Mark's use of texts with conjectured use of the same texts by messianic groups participating in the revolt.

This study is a welcome corrective to the relative lack of attention in much recent scholarship to Mark's use of the Old Testament. At times Marcus overcorrects, and some of the scriptural allusions he finds are not fully convincing. …

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