A Preface to Mark: Notes on the Gospel in Its Literary and Cultural Settings

A Preface to Mark: Notes on the Gospel in Its Literary and Cultural Settings

by Christopher Bryan
A Preface to Mark: Notes on the Gospel in Its Literary and Cultural Settings

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A Preface to Mark: Notes on the Gospel in Its Literary and Cultural Settings by Christopher Bryan

A Preface to Mark is a literary study which, from the standpoint of the newer critical methods, explores two questions. First, Bryan attempts to determine what kind of text The Gospel of Mark would have been seen to be, both by its author and by others who encountered it near the time of its writing. He explores whether Mark should be seen as an example of any particular literary type, and if so which one. Bryan concludes that a comparison of Mark with other texts of the period leads inevitably to the conclusion that Mark's contemporaries would broadly have characterized his work as a "life".

Second, Bryan looks at the evidence that exists to indicate whether Mark, like so much else of its period, was written to be read aloud. Examining the differences between approaches to composition and narrative oriented toward listeners, and those oriented toward readers, he points out ways in which Mark's narrative would have worked particularly well as rhetoric.

A Preface to Mark is the first examination of Mark as a whole in the light of contemporary studies of orality and oral transmission. It not only shows us Mark in its original setting, but also suggests ways in which our own encounter with Mark's text may be significantly enriched. Its accessible style makes it a good introduction to the Gospel for students as well as the general reader.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198024217
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/29/2000
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

Table of Contents

Prologue: Looking at Mark3
Scope of the Inquiry3
Purpose of the Inquiry4
Part IWhat Kind of Text Is Mark?
1.The Question of Genre9
The Significance of Genre9
On Recognizing Genre12
2.Mark's Milieu16
3.A Genre for Mark22
4.How to Show That Mark Is a Hellenistic "Life,"27
5.Mark as a Hellenistic "Life,"32
Opening Features33
Arrangement of Material39
Sources and Units of Composition47
Common Motifs50
Written Style53
Preliminary Conclusion61
Part IIWas Mark Written to Be Read Aloud?
6.Orality and Oral Transmission67
7.Some Characteristics of Oral Composition72
Orality and Narrative72
Orality and Hyperbole73
Orality and Parataxis74
Orality and Formula75
Oral Techniques and Communication78
Oral Style and Mark81
8.Mark and Oral Transmission82
Understanding Mark's Structure82
Mark's Overall Arrangement83
9.An Analysis of Mark's Structure85
Part I.Prologue. Witness to the Coming One: In the Wilderness (1:1-8)85
Part II.The Ministry of Jesus: In and around Galilee (1:9-8:21)86
Part III.Jesus Teaches the Way of the Cross: On the Road to Jerusalem (8:22-10:52)99
Part IV.The Passion of Jesus: In and around Jerusalem (11:1-15:41)104
Part V.Epilogue: Witness to the Crucified and Risen One: At the Tomb (15:42-16:8)120
10.Oral Characteristics of Mark's Style126
Oral Style126
Episodes Showing Jesus' Wit and Wisdom126
Episodes Showing Jesus the Man of Deed128
Narrative Summaries131
The Passion132
11.As It Is Written: Oral Characteristics of Mark's Appeals to Scripture136
Mark's Use of Scripture: 1:1-13137
Allusion and Reminiscence143
Mark's Two Precise Quotations148
Scriptural Tradition as a Means of Articulation149
12.Conclusions: Mark in Its Setting152
A Writer Who Wrote to Be Heard152
Was Mark's Gospel Composed Orally?153
The Author of a Hellenistic "Life,"154
A "Scribal" Mark?155
Mark the Prophetic Charismatic?156
Mark the Evangelist and the First Urban Christians159
13.Unscientific Postscripts163
Many Traditions and One Gospel163
The Significance of the Story166
Gospel and Performance167
AppendixExamples of Popular Greek Prose from the First and Second Centuries of the Christian Era173
Index to Modern Authors201
Index to Ancient Sources204
Subject Index207
Scriptural Index214

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