Scholarship on the Gospel of Mark has long been convinced of the paradoxical description of two of its primary themes, christology and discipleship. This book argues that paradoxical language pervades the entire narrative, and that it serves a theological purpose in describing God's activity.
Part One focuses on divine action present in Mark 4:10-12. In the first paradox, Mark portrays God's revelatory acts as consistently accompanied by concealment. The second paradox is shown in the various ways in which divine action confirms, yet counters, scripture. Finally, Mark describes God's actions in ways that indicate both wastefulness and goodness; deeds that are further illuminated by the ongoing, yet defeated, presence of evil. Part Two demonstrates that this paradoxical language is widely attested across Mark's passion narrative, as he continues to depict God's activity with the use of the three paradoxes observed in Mark 4. Through paradoxical narrative, Mark emphasizes God's transcendence and presence, showing that even though Jesus has brought revelation, a complete understanding of God remains tantalizingly out of their grasp until the eschaton (4:22).
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 494 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 23 mm
Sweat has produced a significant study of the theological outworking of paradox in Mark's Gospel through the parable of the sower and some sections of the passion narrative. She does not track God's identity and work through the verbal and dramatic instances of paradox in Mark, but through the theological lens of God simultaneously concealing and revealing, confirming and countering, and expressing wastefulness and goodness. -- Narry F. Santos, Saddleback Church, Manila, Philippines * Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society *
Sweat presents overall a compelling and well-argued thesis, which grapples skillfully with some of the difficult aspects of Mark's Gospel, especially the riddles in the parable of the sower. This is a fine contribution to the corpus of scholarship on the Gospel of Mark. -- Sharon Betsworth, Oklahoma City University * Biblical Interpretation *
[A] valuable contribution to understanding the role of God in Mark's narrative. * Biblica *