Markan Typology

I have just completed a PhD at Otago University (awarded August 2020), with the title of: 

Markan Typology: Miracle, Scripture and Christology in Mark 4:35-6:45

My supervisors were Prof Paul Trebilco & Prof James Harding. It will likely be a while before any of it is published, so if you are keen to know more send me an email. It's currently under peer review with a monograph series and a chapter is under review as a journal article. One thing that has been published already is a couple of paragraphs from one chapter that blew up into its own article, "Jonah's Gourd and Mark's Gethsemane" in JSNT (see also my publications page), however, that argument is somewhat tangential to my actual thesis.

Here's the thesis abstract for your delectation . . . 

Abstract Begins

This thesis argues for the presence of typological use of scripture in the composition of four adjacent miracle accounts in Mark’s Gospel (4:35-41; 5:1-20; 5:21-43; 6:30-45). I will argue that these miracle accounts make deliberate and sustained use of literary narrative allusion to corresponding miracle accounts from the Jewish scriptures. While some of these allusions have been suggested before, this study argues for hitherto unnoticed allusions, as well as a consistent compositional approach within the Gospel over several miracles. These miracle accounts contain verbal, narrative and thematic correspondences that, I will argue, are best explained by the presence of a scriptural typology. This compositional approach, which is here called literary typology, also reveals underlying theological and Christological convictions. These convictions situate Mark’s Jesus firstly as the denouement of salvation history through, what I will call, fulfilment typology; and secondly identify him to an unprecedented extent with the God of Israel, which is expressed by, what I will call, theomorphic typology.

Following an introductory chapter, it will be argued that elements of this typological approach are evident in several early Jewish texts prior to or contemporaneous with Mark, in order to demonstrate the historical plausibility of Mark employing such an approach. Then, four exegetical chapters will argue for these literary, fulfilment and theomorphic typologies in the four miracle accounts considered. These will suggest extended typological allusions to the scriptural narratives of Jonah, David, Elisha and Moses. They will also discuss the hermeneutical significance of recognising each miracle’s implicit typology. Then, a chapter will argue that this typological approach to scripture use is congruent with scripture use in other significant episodes of Mark’s Gospel, even if it does not follow exactly the same pattern. Finally, the results of this study will be considered within the contemporary “early high Christology” debate, focusing especially on the work of Richard Bauckham and Daniel Kirk. The applicability of their respective early Jewish paradigms of “divine identity” and “exalted human figures” to the Gospel of Mark will be evaluated. The study will conclude that the presentation of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel is best understood according to its own categories and not according to those distilled from the diverse corpus of extant early Jewish writings. Thus, this thesis seeks to make an original contribution to the scholarly understanding of miracles, use of scripture, and Christology in the Gospel of Mark.

Abstract Ends

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...