What difference does it make to identify Mark's gospel as an ancient biography?
Reading the gospels as ancient biographies makes a profound difference to the way that we interpret them. Biography immortalizes the memory of the subject, creating a literary monument to the person's life and teaching. Yet it is also a bid to legitimize a specific view of that figure and to position an author and his audience as appropriate "gatekeepers" of that memory. Biography was well suited to the articulation of shared values and commitments, the formation of group identity, and the binding together of a past story, present concerns, and future hopes.
The Present Volume Time, Place and Author Overview
Chapter 1 - Mark as a bios
From the Ancients to Votaw The Eclipse of Biography A Jewish Background? The Return of Graeco-Roman Biography The Last 25 Years
Chapter 2 - Ancient bioi
The Emergence of Biography Biography and Morality Character Depictions of Death Biographical Fact and Fiction The Preserve of the Elite? Sub-Groups and Sub-Types?
Chapter 3 - Mark the Biographer
Profile of a Biographer Mark's Christian Readers Mark's Structure Pre-Markan Tradition Authorial Voice
Chapter 4 - A Life of Jesus
Mark's Opening Section (1:1-15) Temptation and Resolve Jesus in Galilee (1:16-8:21) Miracles Conflict Identity Teaching on Discipleship (8:22-10:52) Jerusalem (11:1-13:44) Imitation of Jesus Jesus' Appearance
Chapter 5 - Other Characters
Peripheral Characters Markan Intercalations - a form of synkrisis? "King Herod" The High Priest/Pilate The Twelve "Minor Characters"
Chapter 6 - The Death of Jesus
A Slave's Death Setting up an Ending Significance Imitation King of the Jews Events Around Jesus' Death The Disappearance of the Body
Conclusion Final Reflections