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Miracle and Mission: The Authentication of Missionaries and Their Message in the Longer Ending of Mark
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Old and New Testament Exegesis, New Testament Exegesis.
2000 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Longer Ending of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 16:9–20) was appended to the earliest Christian Gospel in the first half of the second century.  This book offers a comprehensive analysis of Mark 16:9–20 and explores what can be ascertained about the otherwise unknown Christian author of this passage.  Whereas most scholars have examined Mark 16:9–20 from the standpoint of its relation to Mark 1:1–16:8 and the question of Markan authorship, my study explores the passage’s distinct witness to the use of gospel traditions and the development of Christian thought.  Concerning the origin of this passage, I argue that a single author made use of the ‘New Testament’ Gospels in forging a more satisfactory ending to Mark, and study the passage’s sometimes innovative literary forms.  Also of interest is the author’s claim that the ascended Lord will help “those who believe” to perform miraculous signs—casting out demons, speaking in new languages, picking up snakes, drinking poison with impunity and healing the sick—when they proclaim the good news (verses 17–18, 20).  This expectation is compared with portraits of miracles, especially in the context of mission, in the New Testament, various apocryphal acts, and Christian apologists of the second and third centuries.  Another previously unexplored area concerns the question whether the promise concerning the picking up of snakes (verse 18a), which is cited by modern serpent-handlers, points to the existence of an analogous group in the ancient world.  Accordingly, the two final chapters interpret the signs of picking up snakes and drinking a deadly substance with impunity (verse 18b) in their history-of-religions contexts.  The literary and pictographic pieces of evidence discussed in these last two chapters stem primarily from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, but date as far back as the pre-classical Minoan civilization on the island of Crete and stretch as far forward as the early Byzantine and Medieval periods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck , 2000, 1st. , xix + 530 p.
, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2.Reihe, ISSN 0340-9570 ; 112
Keyword [en]
Gospel of Mark, miracles, mission, snakes, poison
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
New Testament Exegesis
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-140625ISBN: 3-16-147243-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-140625DiVA: diva2:384115
Book reviews: • Arbeitskreis für evangelikale Missiologie 18 (2002): 150–151 (Christoph W. Stenschke). • Catholic Biblical Quarterly 64 (2002): 167–168 (Steven L. Bridge). • Currents in Theology and Mission 28/1 (February, 2001): 49–50 (N. Clayton Croy). • The Expository Times 112 (2000): 27 (Larry W. Hurtado). • Jahrbuch für evangelikale Theologie 16 (2002): 266–269 (Armin D. Baum). • Journal for the Study of the New Testament 25 (2003): 499 (Jayhoon Yang). • Journal of Early Christian Studies 11/2 (2003): 236–238 = 11/3 (2003): 421–422 (Clayton N. Jefford). • Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 45 (2002): 703–704 (James A. Brooks). • Journal of Theological Studies 52 (2001): 248–250 (J. K. Elliott). • “Mission in the New Testament: New Trends in Research. A Review Article,” Missionalia: The South African Missiological Society 31 (2003): 355–383 at 365–367 (Christoph W. Stenschke). • Religious Studies Review 27/2 (2001): 169 (Michael W. Holmes). • Review of Biblical Literature 5 (2003) online: http://www.bookreviews.org/bookdetail.asp?TitleId=1625 (N. Clayton Croy). • Revista Biblica Brasileira 19 (2002): 412–413 (no author listed). • Theologische Literaturzeitung 126 (2001): 639–642 (Theo K. Heckel). • “Literatur zu den Synoptischen Evangelien 1992–2000 (III): Das Markusevangelium,” Theologische Rundschau 69/4 (2004): 369–423 at 407–409 (Andreas Lindemann). • Zeitschrift für Neues Testament 8/15 (2005): 69–71 (Kristina Dronsch). Available from: 2011-01-11 Created: 2011-01-07 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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