ALLEGIANCE, OPPOSITION, AND MISUNDERSTANDING: A NARRATIVE CRITICAL APPROACH TO ‘SON OF GOD’ IN MARK’S GOSPEL
| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|
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1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STDUY
For numerous Christians throughout the ages the assertion that Jesus is the ‘Son of God’ is one that has been understood to have ontological and cosmic dimensions necessarily enveloped in it. After all, orthodox, Trinitarian theology is something that the Church affirmed, and something that the Holy Scriptures seems to clearly teach. In the Gospel of Mark, for example, the locale to which the majority of our time and attention will be given, Jesus is called the Son of God in the opening line (textual issue not withstanding). Next, he is named ‘Son’ by a voice from heaven at the baptismal scene (Mk 1:11). The demonic world seems to clearly understand this reality based on the narrative of Mark (Mk 1:24; 3:11; 5:7). At yet another significant juncture, the transfiguration(Mk 9:7,) Jesus is again called ‘Son’ by a voice from heaven. The reality that Jesus is the Son of God is hinted at, implied, and referenced a number of times (Mk 12:1-2; 13:32; 14:36; 15:39), the final time by the most unlikely of voices, aRoman centurion. Obviously, then, the divine sonship of Jesus is a significant theme in Mark’s Gospel.For many, it is an axiom that does not require much defense or explanation. However, the application of higher criticism to the Synoptic Gospels has yielded a host of interpretation about Jesus’ identity and the manner in which the Evangelists, themselves, understood the title. In the twentieth century, opinions about how this title is to be understood abounded –with some arguing that the Gospel writers were drawing from Divine Man mythology in the Graeco-Roman world, to others proposing that it primarily refers to Jesus as ‘Son of David Messiah’. One of the reasons for the diverse manner in which the title is understood is that the various disciplines used to approach the primary documents seemed to function in relative isolation.
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