Reading Mark, Engaging the Gospel

Reading Mark, Engaging the Gospel

Reading Mark, Engaging the Gospel

Reading Mark, Engaging the Gospel

Synopsis

One of the leading scholars on the Gospel of Mark utilizes a variety of methods to plumb the depths of this earliest story of Jesus. From new forms of literary criticism, social-scientific explorations, and reader-response criticism, Rhoads brings fresh insights to gospel studies.

Excerpt

My fascination with the Gospel of Mark has spanned three decades. Above all, it has been characterized by efforts to apply new approaches to illuminate the same text in different ways. Innovations in biblical studies have come primarily by asking fresh questions and employing new methods—most of them originating from secular disciplines and adapted to the biblical materials. This was true of the traditional historical-critical methods, and it applies equally to new approaches that have been developed over the past several decades. The essays included in this book are the result of such new questions and new methods—specifically, narrative criticism, social-science criticism, performance criticism, and intercultural critïcism.

My journey with the Gospel of Mark began with my first teaching assignment at Carthage College in 1973.1 was trained primarily as a historian, and I was revising my dissertation for publication as Israel in Revolution, a political history of Israel in the first century up to and culminating in the Roman-Judean War of 66–70 C.E., based on the writings of Josephus. At the same time, I was lecturing on the historical context of Mark. I suddenly realized in a new way the importance of the fact that Mark was written at the time of the Roman-Judean . . .

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