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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Mark and Matthew II: Comparative Readings: Reception History, Cultural Hermeneutics, and Theology
Becker, Eve-Marie and Anders Runesson, editors

Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013 pp. viii + 418. €139

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 304

Description: Sustained, comparative Synoptic studies do not stand alone methodologically in the humanities, but belong to a more general trend within cultural studies as well as in the humanities more broadly. Textual interpretation involves approaching specific texts composed more often than not by individual authors. In these texts, however, are embedded a myriad of conscious and unconscious relationships to historical and contemporary events, people, and other texts likewise connected historically and contemporaneously. In-depth understanding of a text evolves, therefore, almost by necessity from multi-perspectival comparative approaches rather than from readings taking a more isolated focus as point of departure. The Mark and Matthew project, of which the present study is the second volume, aims at taking seriously such more general insights and applying them to the earliest Gospels in order to stimulate new research and a deeper understanding of these two texts individually and as parts of a common discursive setting. In the present volume, the goal has been to shed light on the interpretation and use of the earliest Gospels from the first to the twenty-first century, with special focus on cultural hermeneutics and theology. The dynamics of interpretation, including the role played by history, methodology, religion, and politics, are taken into consideration, shedding light on distinctive aspects of the human endeavour to understand and use sacred text in context. One of the characteristics of the interpretive effort that is highlighted through this approach is the fact that texts are silent until we, their readers, give them voice; that meaning and use happen in the interplay between history and the present, residing never in one place alone, but rather in the dynamic space embracing both text and reader.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Literary Approaches, Hermeneutics, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, New Testament Theology, History of Interpretation

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Review by Craig A. Evans
Published 8/25/2015
Citation: Craig A. Evans, review of Eve-Marie Becker and Anders Runesson, eds., Mark and Matthew II: Comparative Readings: Reception History, Cultural Hermeneutics, and Theology, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2015).

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