This is an extract of our For Whom Was Mark Written document, which we sell as part of our Mark's Gospel Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.
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R.P. Martin, Mark - Evangelist and Theologian (Exeter: Paternoster Press, 1972), chapter 6. Why Mark Wrote his Gospel- Martin Kahler, the gospels are 'passion narratives with extended introductions.' 1 'It seems pretty clear that Mark's intention is to lay heavy stress on the Passion story by working backwards from the event to embrace the Baptist's destiny as being handed over by God to his death'
enter the lists on behalf of an apostolic understanding of the gospel message' 'the evangelist's purpose was 'to teach the Christians of his day a true Christology in place of the false Christology that he felt they were in danger of accepting' 2' Pg 144- Schulz sees Mark's portrayal of Jesus as 'a divine man, indeed God himself in human form'- exaggeration as Mark stresses Jesus's humanity.
'the shadow of the cross falls across the Markan story at an early point ', end of gospel very sombreBut Kahler does not tackle question of why Mark chooses to preface passion story with lengthy narrative-
And why did Mark choose to use miracle stories and controversy narratives in this introduction 'Why did Mark embody narratives of healing and other miracles into his gospel?'
'The intention of Mark in writing a 'gospel' in the context of his church situation.'Pg 143, 'Mark the evangelist is seen as a church teacher who is engaged in a struggle with false doctrine and who by this publication to which he gives the innovative name of 'gospel' seels to
1 M. Kahler, The So-Called Historical Jesus and the Historical Biblical Christ [ET, 1964], pg 80.Schulz argues that 'Mark's interest is kerygmatic and that his task is not to record history but to proclaim a message' Mark's gospel is a 'strange blend of a characterization of Jesus in his human finiteness and weakness, and a portrayal of a strong Son of God, healing, exorcising demons' How do they relate?
Siegreid Schulz looks for the theological problems which Mark's gospel was written to confront. 'the hypothetical sayings-source, underlying Matthew and Luke, known by the cipher Q''The Q-stratum of tradition offers a picture of Jesus as a present and coming Son of man
2 N. Perrin, 'The Creative Use of the Son of Man Traditions by Mark', Union Seminary Quarterly Review 23 , pg
whose word was authoritative for the community which assembled these logia and appealed to them' 'Q's 'kerygma' is a passion-less story of Jesus who is not 'the redeemer who gives his blood for many but... the authoritative teacher who by means of his word summon men to follow him' (Todt, p266) Mark has a much more redemptive value with its emphasis on the Lord's Passion.
H. J. Ebeling criticizes Wrede asking why 'the harmonization of Jesus' life and the post-Easter faith in Christ would be needed'-
Pg 147, 'no pre-Markan tradition which united both Jesus' words and Jesus' Passion is attested' Schulz sees Mark's great achievement in 'uniting, for the first time, the Jesus-traditions of the Palestinian community and the hellenistic Christian materials which he inherited from Paul's kerygma of the cross.'
Pg, 149 'Mark's gospel for Ebeling was designed to clarify for the Christian community the meaning of the kerygma'Ulrich Luz, pg148: 'Messianic secret remains still a secret', following Wrede, he divides material in Mark into 3 categoriesHealing stories, accounts of exorcism, and instructions to the disciples. 'Wrede had sought to show that these injunctions to secrecy were Mark's way of explaining the apparent non-messianic life of Jesus in view of the post-Easter faith, that he was the proclaimed Messiah'
Ebeling argues there is no secrecy motif in Mark's gospel Those instances Wrede saw as efforts to conceal Jesus' person (e.g. commands to silence) are in fact revelations. 'It is clear that Mark's intention is seen not in the secret but in its violation since it cannot be concealed that Jesus is the glorious Son of God whose epiphany shines forth in spite of attempts to hide it'
'and to enhance its value in their eyes as they sense their privilege in being umbered among the chosen ones whoe see Jesus as 'the secret of God made known by Christ''
U. Luz- purpose of injunctions to silence is to show they are disobeyed 'hence the purpose of what Wrede called the 'Messianic secret' is in fact to proclaim the way in which Jesus' miracle were not-able-to-remain-hidden'Argues the messianic secret was necessary as in Jesus' lifetime 'it could not be fully understood,
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