Conflict in Mark: Jesus, Authorities, Disciples

Conflict in Mark: Jesus, Authorities, Disciples

Conflict in Mark: Jesus, Authorities, Disciples

Conflict in Mark: Jesus, Authorities, Disciples


Intertwined with Mark's story of Jesus are two other story lines: those of the religious authorities (without real authority), and those of the disciples (loyal and uncomprehending.) In this signal effort, Kingsbury traces and interprets all three story lines as found in Mark, chapters 2-4.


This book is for pastors and students, for use in the study and in the classroom. Each summer, Union Theological Seminary, Virginia, sponsors the Conference on Interpreting the Faith. The invitation to address the Conference on the Gospel according to Mark provided the impetus to write this book.

In the gospel story he narrates, Mark tells, of course, of Jesus. Intertwined with the story of Jesus, however, are two other story lines: that of the religious authorities and that of the disciples. The goal of this book is to trace and interpret all three story lines (chaps. 2-4). To facilitate the reading of each line, chapter 1 deals with important introductory matters.

The development of each story line is determined by themes peculiar to it. In telling of Jesus, for example, Mark interrelates identity with destiny. Not until Jesus’ destiny of death on the cross has been narrated does any human other than Jesus himself perceive the mystery of his identity as the Son of God, the kingly figure in whom God is decisively at work to save. By tracing the contours not only of Jesus’ ministry but also of the gradual unveiling of his identity, one can highlight this interrelatedness of identity and destiny.

Characteristic of the story of the religious authorities is that they act as ones “without authority.” To be without authority . . .

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