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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Gospel of Mark and the Roman-Jewish War of 66–70 CE: Jesus’ Story as a Contrast to the Events of the War
Kimondo, Stephen Simon

Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2018 pp. xxi + 249. $33.00


Description: This book interprets Mark's gospel in light of the Roman-Jewish War of 66–70 CE. Locating the authorship of Mark's gospel in rural Galilee or southern Syria after the fall of Jerusalem and the temple, and after Vespasian's enthronement as the new emperor, Kimondo argues that Mark's first hearers—people who lived through and had knowledge of the important events of the war—may have evaluated Mark's story of Jesus as a contrast to Roman imperial values. He makes an intriguing case that Jesus’ proclamation as the Messiah in the villages of Caesarea Philippi set up a deliberate contrast between Jesus’s teaching and Vespasian's proclamation of himself as the world’s divine ruler. He suggests that Mark's hearers may have interpreted Jesus' liberative campaign in Galilee as a deliberate contrast to Vespasian's destructive military campaigns in the area. Jesus's teachings about wealth, power, and status while on the way to Jerusalem may have been heard as contrasts to Roman imperial values; hence, the entire story of Jesus may have been interpreted an anti-imperial narrative.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Mark, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Judaism, Greco-Roman Period, Theological Approaches, Theological Interpretation

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Review by Christopher B. Zeichmann
Published 8/15/2019
Citation: Christopher B. Zeichmann, review of Stephen Simon Kimondo, The Gospel of Mark and the Roman-Jewish War of 66–70 CE: Jesus’ Story as a Contrast to the Events of the War, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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