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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Resurrection in Mark's Literary-Historical Perspective
Fullmer, Paul M.

New York: T&T Clark, 2007 pp. xiv + 256. $130.00

Series Information
Library of New Testament Studies, 360


Description: Through a careful reading of several ancient texts such as Chariton’s Callirhoë, Fullmer identifies an ancient storytelling convention with roots in the Homeric tradition in which narratives of death and revival accentuate significant points in a story. In Mark’s Gospel, resurrection narratives accentuate the power of Jesus’ ministry (Mark 5:21-43) as well as the ironic disloyalty of Jesus’ disciples as their failure is first assured (Mark 9:14-29) and later realized (Mark 16:1-18). The reader of this study will come to appreciate how the irony of the Gospel – a literary feature that is prominent in novelistic literature – is furthered by a novelistic application of the resurrection theme. These observations affirm an identification of the genre of the Gospel as novelistic literature. The study also examines themes of death and revival in texts of the Hebrew Bible, revealing a recurrent constellation of motifs. In these texts, Fullmer convincingly traces a Prophetic resurrection topos with characteristics that are compared to an Epic resurrection topos identified in the Homeric tradition. He then demonstrates how the two topoi merge in later, novelistic texts of Hellenistic Judaism such as the Gospel of Mark, witnessing to a widespread amalgamation of cultures that characterizes the Hellenistic period.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Mark, Literature


Review by Pheme Perkins
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Published 8/30/2008
Citation: Pheme Perkins, review of Paul M. Fullmer, Resurrection in Mark's Literary-Historical Perspective, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


Review by John Dart
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Published 9/5/2008
Citation: John Dart, review of Paul M. Fullmer, Resurrection in Mark's Literary-Historical Perspective, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


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