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History and the Future in Mark's Gospel
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by James M. Robinson
The Problem of History in the Book of Mark and other Marcan Studies
(Philadelphia:  Fortress Press, 1982.  133p.)

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Robinson analyzes the eschatological foundation of Mark's portrayal of Jesus.  He provides comparative references to the Jewish pseudepigrapha and Gnostic writings to determine the dissimilarity in Mark.  Robinson determines that Mark maintains the historical reality of the life and meaning of Jesus, in contrast to the Gnostics, while clearly presenting the yet-to-come character of the new age.

Mark's perspective portrays a supra-historical character of Jesus and the church.  But the write of the Gospel avoids the reductive extreme of the Gnostics.  Mark does not withdraw from the physical, social reality of the current "evil aeon," but rather the view of the Kingdom of God engages the challenges of this era, realm, aeon or moment in history.

Thus this portrait of Jesus and the Kingdom of God avoid the Gnostic apocalyptic denial of this world and the reality of its history.  In Mark, Jesus, in fact, shows God's concern for and activity in current history, to which Jesus brings meaning and a purpose.

The transcendent reality exists in parallel as the redemptive stream of activity, which develops in the ministry of Jesus.  The role of faith is the crowning emphasis in Robinson's analysis of Mark's view of the history, expressed in his telling of the faith-events in Jesus' life.

See related reviews and articles on this site:
[Review] The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Jewish Origins of Christianity
[review] The Gospel of Judas Is this Really Good News?
[review] A Gnostic View of Jesus
[Text] God and the Problem of Evil
[review] A History of God
[review] Jesus and the Jewish Resurrection
[review] A New Testament Window into First Century Jewish Literature
[review] A Phenomenology of Jesus
[review] The Revelation of Comfort and Hope
[review] Semi-Gnostic, Semi-Christian, Semi-Islamic Gospel
[review] Split-Rapture Recent Origins Exposed
[review] Thessalonica, Qumran and the Cult of the Emperor

This book will be reissued in July 2009
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See all my reviews on Amazon.com
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OBJ

First reading notes written 11 December 2004
Finalized as an article and posted on Thoughts and Resources 27 December 2007
Posted on Barnes and Noble 2 March 2009
Last edited 21 January 2012

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2007 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Please give credit and link back.  Other rights reserved.

Email: orville@jenkins.nu
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