Resisting Jesus

A Narrative and Intertextual Analysis of Mark’s Portrayal of the Disciples of Jesus


Very likely the first of the four Gospels to be written, Mark presents an intriguing and puzzling portrayal of the disciples with predominantly negative overtones. In Resisting Jesus, Mateus de Campos proposes that the evangelist’s characterization should be understood under the rubric of resistance—a willful disposition against Jesus’ self-revelatory program and his discipleship prescriptions. Utilizing a combination of narrative and intertextual analyses, de Campos demonstrates that Mark’s portrayal of resistance to Jesus follows a specific plot dynamic that finds its fundamental framework in the Scriptural depiction of YHWH’s relationship with Israel. The study provides fresh insights into how the evangelist’s negative characterization of the disciples fosters a Scripturally-informed reflection and admonition concerning the nature of discipleship.

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Mateus F. de Campos, Ph.D. (2017), University of Cambridge, is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in Massachusetts, USA.
List of Illustrations

1 The Problem of Mark’s Negative Depiction of the Disciples
 1 The State of the Question
 2 Methodology
 3 Assumptions and Limitations
 4 Outline

2 The Scriptural Shape of Mark’s Narrative of Resistance
 1 Identifying Mark’s Scriptural Frameworks
 2 The Scriptural Plot of Revelation and Response
 3 Examples of the Use of the Language of Resistance in Sources Contemporary to Mark
 4 The Plot of Revelation and Response in Mark
 5 Conclusion

3 Revelation and Resistance in Galilee (Part 1)—Mark 1:16–4:34
 1 Literary Structure
 2 Authority and Resistance (⟨A1⟩ Mark 1:16–3:19)
 3 Outsiders and Insiders (⟨A2⟩ Mark 3:20–4:34)

4 Revelation and Resistance in Galilee (Part 2)—Mark 4:35–8:21
 1 Literary Patterns
 2 Resistance by Outsiders
 3 Resistance by Insiders
 4 Conclusion

5 Teaching and Resistance on the Way—Mark 8:22–10:52
 1 Literary Structure
 2 The Scriptural Frameworks in Mark 8:22–10:52
 3 Peter’s Confession (Mark 8:27–38)
 4 The Mountain Theophany (Mark 9:1; 2–8)
 5 The Ethical Teaching (Mark 9:30–10:45)
 6 Conclusion

6 Resistance and Judgment in Jerusalem—Mark 11:1–14:72
 1 Literary Structure
 2 The Judgment of the Religious Authorities (⟨C1⟩: Mark 11:1–12:44)
 3 The Eschatological Discourse (⟨C2⟩: Mark 13:1–37)
 4 The Drama of the Disciples’ Failure (⟨C3⟩: Mark 14:1–72)
 5 Conclusion

7 Exposing Resistance—Mark as Narrated Paraenesis
The book deals with “Discipleship”—a topic of interest for students of the Bible and theology, as well as practitioners. Those who will benefit the most are specialists, graduate and post-graduate students, and well-educated practitioners.