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Shively, Elizabeth E.

Apocalyptic Imagination in the Gospel of Mark

The Literary and Theological Role of Mark 3:22-30

Series:Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 189

    129,95 € / $182.00 / £118.00*

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    Publication Date:
    August 2012
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    Aims and Scope

    This narrative study uses Mark 3:22–30 as an interpretive lens to show that the Gospel of Mark has a thoroughly apocalyptic outlook. That is, Mark 3:22–30 constructs a symbolic world that shapes the Gospel’s literary and theological logic. Mark utilizes apocalyptic discourse, portraying the Spirit-filled Jesus in a struggle against Satan to establish the kingdom of God by liberating people to form a community that does God’s will. This discourse develops throughout the narrative by means of repetition and variation, functioning rhetorically to persuade the reader that God manifests power out of suffering, rejection, and death. This book fits among literary studies that focus on Mark as a unified narrative and rhetorical composition, and uses narrative analysis as a key tool. While narrative approaches to Mark generally offer non-apocalyptic readings, this study clarifies the symbols, metaphors and themes of Mark 3:22–30 in light of the religious and social context in which the Gospel was produced in order to understand Mark’s persuasive aims towards the reader. Accordingly, a comparative analysis of Jewish apocalyptic literature informs the use of Mark 3:22–30 as a paradigm for the Gospel.

    Supplementary Information


    xii, 295 pages
    Type of Publication:
    Gospel of Mark; Apocalyptic; Narrative Criticism; Beelzebub Discourse; New Testament

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    Elisabeth E. Shively, St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland.

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