Fear, Anomaly, and Uncertainty in the Gospel of Mark
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Publisher: Scarecrow Press
Number of Pages: 336
Width: 14.6 cm
Height: 22.4 cm
Douglas Geyer's illuminating analysis of Mark 4:35-6:56 explains why the Gospel ends as it does in the earliest manuscripts-abruptly, at 16:8, with the words, "for they were afraid." This ending, with women fleeing the empty tomb in "trembling and astonishment," has long been considered "problematic," and, in the several attempts to rewrite it, Mark 16 has become a source of unending mischief. Geyer's work draws on a vast literature of fear, anomaly, terror, and dread in the ancient world to demonstrate that this ending is a consistent, overriding theme of Mark's Gospel. In Mark we see and hear the story of Jesus through the eyes and ears of the Roman world. Geyer brings to bear the literature of that world in a way that helps his readers to understand what Mark is doing and how the story that Mark tells continues to touch his readers and hearers ancient and modern (and "postmodern"). Geyer guides the reader through a vast and uncharted primary literature, demonstrating its relevance for New Testament study. In so doing he clearly proposes a fresh and original understanding of Mark that cuts across many of the critical controversies and renews its purpose and usefulness as "good news"-Gospel-for the terrors and uncertainties of our own time.
Many have noted Mark's atmosphere of mystery. But it is doubtful if any have explored its background in Hellenstic, classical and other Near Eastern lore and literature as thoroughly as Douglas Geyer...the book...enables us to enter more deeply into the milieu of beliefs and emotions in which Mark was written...Geyer's thesis...makes a significant contribution to the study of Mark, and therefore also-indirectly-to the study of Jesus, for which Mark remains a primary, though contentious, source. -- Stephen I. Wright Biblical Interpretation One of the most interesting, and perhaps also one of the most useful, books on Mark to be published in the last decade. Sewanee Theological Review The most complete set of references to fear, anomoly, and uncertainty in the ancient world. Theological Studies I am left in awe of the research that went into this study. Concordia Journal Geyer certainly helps the reader appreciate the unsettling nature of these stories... -- Frank H. Gorman, Jr., Bethany College I have read and studied many books on the Gospel of Mark (and written some, too), but I have never come across anything that illuminated Mark in the way that Dr Geyer's study has done...I am confident that Dr Geyer's research will have a permanent effect on the study of Mark, and that this will be wholly beneficial. -- John C. Fenton, formerly Principal of Lichfield Theological College and Saint Chad's College, Durham, U.K. Geyer's research has serious theological importance. To buttress his case Geyer has cited an incredible number of parallels in Greco-Roman literature. From a literary standpoint his argument is most convincing. -- Graydon F. Snyder