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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Redescribing the Gospel of Mark
Crawford, Barry S. and Merrill P. Miller, editors

Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017 pp. xvi + 691. $89.95

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Description: This is the third of a three volume series of studies by members of the Society of Biblical Literature's Consultation (1995-1997), then Seminar (1998-2003), on Ancient Myths and Modern Theories of Christian Origins, both concerned with redescribing the beginnings of Christianity as religion using theories and methods developed in the social sciences and related areas, not just the specific literature, beliefs, and practices of early Christians. Essays examine the Gospel of Mark as an author's writing in a book culture, a writing that responded to situations arising out of the first Roman-Judean war after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE. A concluding retrospective follows the work of the Seminar, its developing discourse and debates, and the continuing work of successor groups in the field. Features: a thorough examination of the relation between structure and event in social and anthropological theory that provides conceptual tools for representing the project of the author of Mark, an exploration of the southern Levant as a plausible provenance of the Gospel, a permanent site of successive imperial regimes and culturally related peoples, and a detailed analysis of the construction of Mark as a narrative composed without access to prior narrative sources about Jesus.

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

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Review by Thomas P. Nelligan
Published 8/1/2018
Citation: Thomas P. Nelligan, review of Barry S. Crawford and Merrill P. Miller, eds., Redescribing the Gospel of Mark, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2018).

Review by Barry L. Blackburn
Published 8/1/2018
Citation: Barry L. Blackburn, review of Barry S. Crawford and Merrill P. Miller, eds., Redescribing the Gospel of Mark, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2018).

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