The Gospel of Mark presents the story of Jesus as a story of conflict: between Jesus and the Jewish authorities, between Jesus and the demons, and between Jesus and his followers. These conflicts lay bare the tension between the necessity of being embraced by God’s eschatological redemption in Jesus and the apparent impossibility of doing so in a world of forces opposed to God’s goals. This study seeks to show, by means of literary-rhetorical analysis, that the Gospel’s conflicts have the common rhetorical goal of addressing the experience of conflict in Mark’s implied audience between God’s promises and the reality of the seemingly unredeemed world inhabited by the audience.
James S. Hanson is Assistant Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
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