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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Miracles and the Kingdom of God: Christology and Social Identity in Mark and Q
Shinall Jr., Myrick C.

Lanham, MD: Lexington/Fortress Academic, 2018 pp. xvii + 165. $95.00

Description: In the last decade or so, scholarship on the miracles of Jesus has shifted from reconstructions of the historical Jesus to the questions of why and to what end early Jesus-followers told stories about miracles. Myrick Shinall contends that Mark and Q contain two distinct ways of remembering Jesus’s miracles in relation to his proclamation of the kingdom of God. He compares three cases of Mark-Q overlaps which feature miracles: the Beelzebul controversy, the commissioning of the disciples, and the testing or “temptation” narratives, and finds that in Mark, the miracles and the kingdom of God both point to Jesus’ identity as a divine figure, whereas in Q, Jesus and the miracles point instead to the coming kingdom of God. Shinall further argues that these different views represent different strategies for creating group identities for Jesus’ followers, strategies that came into conflict as the movement’s identity coalesced. At length, he shows that the mix of “high” and “low” Christology in the Synoptic tradition requires reframing of the current debate over how early a “high” Christology developed in the nascent Jesus movement.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Mark, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism, Literary Approaches

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Review by Sarah E. Rollens
Published 8/22/2019
Citation: Sarah E. Rollens, review of Myrick C. Shinall Jr., Miracles and the Kingdom of God: Christology and Social Identity in Mark and Q, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2019).

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