By Peter G. Bolt
Peter Bolt explores the effect of Mark's Gospel on early readers within the first-century Graeco-Roman global. Focusing upon the 13 characters in Mark who come to Jesus for therapeutic or exorcism, Bolt analyzes their the most important position within the communique of the Gospel. Enlisting various old literary and non-literary assets, this booklet recreates the first-century international of affliction, magic and Roman imperialism. This new method of Mark combines reader-response feedback with social background.
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Extra resources for Jesus' defeat of death: persuading Mark's early readers
Yet we must attempt to understand each other, for it is out of such communication that our human identity is created. Its subjectivity is of its essence. 112 The people encountered in a historical work consist of a ‘slice of life’ through the world being described in the work. The discussion over ‘characters’ in Mark has tended to ignore the fact that the suppliants, whilst appearing in a narrative, also represent a ‘slice of life’ of the ancient world,113 just as much as do the case studies in the Hippocratic corpus, for example.
In what follows, I will argue that the suppliants play a key role in this reduction of distance. Mark’s process of persuasion begins by engaging the readers with the suppliants. Telling and showing The control of distance is usually related closely to the formal distinction between ‘telling’ and ‘showing’ which goes back to Plato’s distinction between ‘simple narration’ (dighsiv) and ‘imitation’ (m©mhsiv) (Resp. 77 Or, at greater length, Smith comments: It has been widely established that control of distance (the extent to which one is identiﬁed with or polarized from the action or, more pertinently, a particular point of view) is regulated essentially by the relative proportions of ‘telling’ and ‘showing’ in a work.
Tannehill, ‘Narrative Christology’, 63ff. 100 Cf. Rhoads and Michie, Mark, 73–5. 101 Friedman, ‘Point of View’, 127. , 128. , 134. In Mark, it is the ‘personality and experience’ of Jesus that emerge. 104 But this study seeks to show that, far from being ‘subordinate’ to the material that forms ‘a sequence leading toward the passion story, the narrative climax of the Gospel’,105 the two types of material work in a complementary fashion in order to achieve Mark’s narrative impact. The sustained focus on the suppliants in this book should not be taken as an attempt to diminish the importance of the disciples in Mark.