This article explores interpretive possibilities for the Christological title “the Holy One of God” in the context of the Markan narrative and through the prism of Second Temple Judaism. The article traces narrative connections of this title with other major Christological titles, their holiness connotations and the Markan portrayal of Jesus’ mission. This study suggests that the title is programmatic for the Second Gospel and finds its development throughout the whole of the Markan story. Jesus, the Holy One of God, is the one who restores the holiness and purity of the nation and (re)creates the new holy people of God. His contagious and transformative holiness enlarges the realm of purity and reduces the dominion of uncleanness through healings, exorcisms and forgiveness of sins. The article calls for reconsidering the place of this often neglected title in Markan Christology and adds some arguments for a higher view of Markan Christology.
CharlesworthJames H.CharlesworthJ.H.LichtenbergerH.OegemaG.S.“Messianology in the Biblical Pseudoepigrapha”Qumran-Messianism. Studies on the Messianic Expectations in the Dead Sea Scrolls1998TübingenMohr Siebeck2152
DunnJames D.G.HorrellD.G.TuckettC.M.“ ‘Are you the Messiah?’: Is the Crux of Mark 14.61-62 Resolvable?”Christology, Controversy and Community. New Testament Essays in Honour of David R. Catchpole2000LeidenBrill122
EvansCraig A.ChiltonB.EvansC.“ ‘Who Touched Me?’: Jesus and the Ritually Impure”Jesus in Context: Temple, Purity, and Restoration1997LeidenBrill353371Arbeiten zur Geschichte des antiken Judentums und des Urchristentums 39
HolmenTomCharlesworthJ.H.PokornyP.“A Contagious Purity: Jesus’ Inverse Strategy for Eschatological Cleanliness”Jesus Research An International Perspective2009Grand RapidsEerdmans199229The First Princeton-Prague Symposium on Jesus Research
OegemaGerbert S.CharlesworthJ.H.LichtenbergerH.OegemaG.S.“Messianic Expectations in the Qumran Writings: Thesis on Their Development”Qumran-Messianism. Studies on the Messianic Expectations in the Dead Sea Scrolls1998TübingenMohr Siebeck5382
WredeWilliamDas Messiasgeheimnis in den Evangelien: Zugleich ein Beitrag zum Verständnis des Markusevangeliums1901GöttingenVandenhoeck & RuprechtEnglish edition: William Wrede, The Messianic Secret. Translated by J.C.G. Grieg. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co., 1971.
William Wrede, Das Messiasgeheimnis in den Evangelien: Zugleich ein Beitrag zum Verständnis des Markusevangeliums (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1901); English edition: William Wrede, The Messianic Secret (trans. J.C.G. Grieg; Cambridge: James Clarke & Co., 1971).
See for example, John Gammie, Holiness in Israel (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989); Jo B. Wells, God’s Holy People: A Theme in Biblical Theology (jsotSup 305; Sheffield: sap, 2000); M.J.H.M. Poorthuis and J. Swartz, eds., A Holy People: Jewish and Christian Perspectives on Religious Communal Identity (Leiden: Brill, 2006).
See for example, Rikki Watts, Isaiah’s New Exodus in Mark (Grand Rapids: Baker Academics, 2000); Joel Marcus, The Way of the Lord: Christological Exegesis of the Old Testament in the Gospel of Mark (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1993); Kelli O’Brien, The Use of Scripture in the Markan Passion Narrative (London: T&T Clark, 2010).
Kent Brower, “The Holy One of God and His Disciples,”65; Hooker, Mark, 38; R. Stein, Mark, (becnt; Grand Rapids: Baker Academics, 2008), 51; L. Williamson, Mark. Interpretation Commentaries for Teaching and Preaching (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1983), 33. R. Guelich sees the baptism of the Spirit as receiving salvation through ministry of Jesus (Mark 1:1-8:26, wbc 43a: 25). Andy Johnson argues that Jesus ‘proleptically’ baptizes people in the Gospel of Mark and puts actual baptism into future (“The ‘New Creation,’ the Crucified and Risen Christ, and the Temple: A Pauline Audience for Mark,” in jti 1(2007): 180). Robert Gundry suggests that the baptism with the Spirit happens through ministry of Jesus (Gundry, Mark, 38).
Evans, “Who Touched Me?,”376. I’m thankful to the colleagues from the Ehrhardt seminar at The University of Manchester who heard a draft of this paper and made useful and stimulating comments that helped me to clarify my thinking.