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Markan Interpretation of Miracles - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Markan Interpretation of Miracles One reason why criticism of narrative is beneficial has to do with the way it views the gospels in the Bible as stories that are created by careful writers who, in their works, created stories that need to be appreciated and understood…
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Markan Interpretation of Miracles
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Download file to see previous pages The setting of the miracles is important and includes the physical environment in which the characters in the gospel lived, as well as, the props that make up the environment. Three settings figure prominently in the gospel of Mark; the wilderness, the sea, and Jerusalem. The sea is important in the gospel of Mark, being referred to forty nine times or brought up directly. There is no other setting is given attention in the gospel of Mark. There is an obvious relationship between the miracles present in the gospel of Mark and the sea and these are stressed in two ways: the placement of references to the sea in the gospel’s first half and the number of miracles happening in the sea. In the story of Mark, the sea is a locale of chaos, destruction, fellowship and instruction (Blackburn 32). In the Markan story events, the two thousand swine and all the demons that possessed them are drowned in the sea. In addition, a dramatic storm in the sea threatens Christ and his disciples with destruction. This scene served to demonstrate the faith and dominion of Jesus over evil, as well as reveal the disciples’ lack of faith. At one point, the writer describes Christ as teaching while in a boat. Jesus, in this case, is pictured as a man on the sea. Such images are filled with various possibilities for mediation between the spatial opposites. Such settings in the gospel of Mark cast an unquestionable link between the content of Christ’s parables, as well as his teachings of the kingdom’s in-breaking (Boring 12). The wilderness is encountered in the early parts of the of Mark’s gospel. John the Baptist makes an appearance in the wilderness, then Jesus is driven into the wilderness, and Peter then comes to him in the wilderness. Finally, Christ and his disciples go to the wilderness during a retreat, where the multitude follows them. In the opening chapter, mark points the audience towards the wilderness, four times, which bears importance from a symbolic or mythical standpoint. The Jewish scriptures offer two interpretations of the wilderness: a place of divine providence and divine testing, as well as a place containing prophesied transformation in the messianic age (Telford 40). The two aspects are linked into the Markan scheme. The wilderness threatens Yahweh’s people very existence, but also greatly illuminates God’s readiness and power to dispel the threat. There is evidence that the story of the wilderness carries a dual significance. The wilderness at times is threatening and hostile while, at other times it turns into a place of preparation. The wilderness is the locale for the testing of the disciples, as well as, a demonstration of God’s power in Christ. God’s provision of bread is made more dramatic in the gospel, by the harsh nature of the wilderness and can be associated with the incident during which Yahweh provided manna to the Israelites in the desert. Such emphasis on the setting argues for the view that there is a deeper and parabolic meaning to the miracles performed in the desert (Telford 43). Jerusalem, just like the wilderness and the sea, provides a key setting for the narrative of Mark to take place. Jerusalem in the gospel is representative of the geo-political space within which the gospel can be interpreted. While reading the gospel of mark, the reader becomes gradually aware of the final destination of Christ is Jerusalem. In the gospel of Mar ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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