Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Gourd is the Messiah!?

No this is not a Monty Python sketch, but my new article on Jonah's gourd and the way it is (possibly/probably/maybe) referenced in Mark's account of Jesus in Gethsemane. 


Jonah’s Gourd and Mark’s Gethsemane: 

A Study in Allegorical Messianic Intertextuality

A number of scholars have recognized a verbal allusion to Jon. 4.9 in Mk 14.34. However, the Gethsemane account (Mk 14.32-42) may allude to the narrative of Jon. 4 in other ways not previously observed. Some modern interpreters have suggested an allegorical messianic interpretation of Jonah’s gourd as Zerubbabel, despite lacking any basis for this interpretation in early Jewish literature. Mark’s allusion may be formerly unrecognized evidence of such an interpretation from the first century CE. This article will examine the wider allusion to Jon. 4 in Mk 14, suggest what kind of exegesis of Jon. 4 might motivate that allusion, and argue for the coherence of such an allusion within the immediate Markan context.

It is now published in Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 43:3 (2021), pp. 370–388. If you don't have access to the journal you can read a pre-publication version on Academia.edu. If you need to cite it and don't have access, contact me and I'll be happy to share the published version with you.

The idea for this article came out of my PhD thesis, although this article is only a footnote in the actual thesis, I thought the idea was worth exploring further. It's nice to have it published as now, when and if I publish my thesis, I can reference my own article (scholarly life goals)! As he is today, there is evidence that Jonah was a character that inspired a lot of speculation and interpretation beyond the "plain reading" of the book named after him. Both Ancient Jews and Christians saw him as a significant figure, and Jewish traditions considerably embellished his story in exciting ways. The book of Jonah ends unfinished and on a question. I wonder if Mark got the idea for his abrupt and open ended conclusion to his Gospel from reading/hearing the story of Jonah?

Let me know what you think :-)


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The Gourd is the Messiah!?

No this is not a Monty Python sketch, but my new article on Jonah's gourd and the way it is (possibly/probably/maybe) referenced in Mark...