The Purpose of the Gospel of Mark in its Historical and Social Context

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Editor: H.N. Roskam
This study investigates the issues of the origin and purpose of the Gospel of Mark. The author argues that Mark’s Gospel was written in Galilee some time after the Jewish Revolt in 70 AD for a Christian audience that was living under the threat of persecution. The first part of the book examines the situation of Mark’s intended readers, and the nature of and reasons for their persecution. The second part establishes in what way the Gospel addresses the situation of Mark’s original readers.
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Biographical Note

H.N. Roskam (1970), Ph.D. in New Testament Studies, University of Leiden, is Lecturer in Greek and Latin languages at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Groningen.

Review Quotes

' …does not only offer new suggestions, but discusses the problem in a particularly engaging manner…Roskam has written a work that is both readable and highly stimulating. This is a significant contribution to Markan studies.'
Paul Foster, The Expository Times, 2005.
' …well-argued book…'
James G. Crossley, Journal for the Study of The New Testament, 2005.

Table of contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
ABBREVIATIONS
INTRODUCTION
1. The Origin and Purpose of Mark’s Gospel in New Testament Scholarship
a. The So-Called ‘Traditional’ View on the Origin and Purpose of Mark’s Gospel
b. The Form-Critical View on Mark’s Gospel
c. The Origin and Purpose of Mark’s Gospel from the Second Half of the Twentieth Century
d. The Purpose of Mark’s Gospel and the Discussion about the Gospel’s Genre

2. The Aims and Premises of the Present Study

PART ONE: THE SITUATION OF MARK’S READERS
CHAPTER 1. THE PERSECUTION OF THE MARKAN CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
Introduction;
1. Mk 4:17;
2. Mk 8:34-35;
3. Mk 10:29-30;
4. Mk 13:9-13; Conclusions
CHAPTER 2. THE DATE OF MARK’S GOSPEL AND ITS PLACE OF ORIGIN
Introduction;
1. The Early Tradition on the Origin of Mark’s Gospel;
2. The Date of Mark’s Gospel;
3.The Place Where Mark’s Gospel was written; Conclusions
CHAPTER 3. JEWISH LEADERS INVOLVED IN THE PERSECUTION OF FELLOW-JEWS IN THE FIRST CENTURY AD
Introduction;
1. The Works of Flavius Josephus;
2. The Position of the Jewish Leading Class in Palestine during the Second Half of the First Century AD;
3. The Persecution of Jewish Rebellious or Religious Groups by the Jewish Authorities;
4. The Persecution of the Markan Christian Community in Post-War Galilee; Conclusions
EVALUATION OF THE RESULTS. THE SITUATION OF THE MARKAN CHRISTIANS

PART TWO: THE MESSAGE OF MARK’S GOSPEL
CHAPTER 4. THE ISSUES OF JESUS’ AUTHORITY AND IDEN¬TITY IN MARK’S GOSPEL
Introduction;
1. The Issue of Jesus’ Authority in Mark’s Gospel;
2. The Issue of Jesus’ Identity in Mark’s Gospel;
a. The Question of Jesus’ Identity in Mk 1:1-8:30;
b. Mark’s Interpretation of Jesus as the Christ in Mk 8:31-10:45;
c. Mark’s Interpretation of Jesus as the Inaugurator of God’s Kingdom in Mk 10:46-13:37;
d. Mark’s Rejection of the Interpretation of Jesus as ‘King of the Jews’ in Mk 14-15
; Conclusions
CHAPTER 5. JESUS’ COMMANDS TO SILENCE IN MARK’S GOSPEL
Introduction;
1. Wrede’s Theory of the ‘Messianic Secret’;
2. Jesus’ Effort to hide his Identity as the Christ;
3. Jesus’ Commands to keep Silent about his Miraculous Healings; Conclusions
CHAPTER 6. JESUS’ DEATH IN MARK’S GOSPEL
Introduction;
1. The Reason for Jesus’ Crucifixion in Mark’s Gospel;
2. Mark’s Depiction of Jesus as a Suffering Righteous One; Conclusions
EVALUATION OF THE RESULTS. THE MESSAGE OF MARK’S GOSPEL AS A REACTION TO THE SITUATION OF THE MARKAN CHRISTIANS

PART THREE: TOWARDS A CHARACTERIZATION OF MARK’S GOSPEL
CHAPTER 7. MARK’S GOSPEL AS A LITERARY WORK
Introduction;
1. Mark’s Authorial Aim and his Choice of a Biographical Form;
2. Is Mark’s Gospel to be characterized as an Ancient Biography?;
3. Towards an Alternative Characterization of Mark’s Gospel; Conclusions

GENERAL CONCLUSIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX LOCORUM
INDEX AUCTORUM
INDEX RERUM

Readership

All those interested in New Testament Literature and the history of the Early Church.

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