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212 pp.

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£16.50 / $22.50 / €18.50

Between Author and Audience in Mark
Narration, Characterization, Interpretation
Edited by Elizabeth Struthers Malbon

To hear, read, and interpret the Gospel of Mark is to become involved in the dynamic relationship between author (real or implied) and audience (implied or real). So we have learned from the ‘literary turn’ in biblical interpretation. But there remains another dynamic relationship in which we are of necessity involved: that of the literary and the historical questions surrounding the text. Clearly, multiple approaches are called for by anyone who wishes to claim a place in the on-going audience of the Gospel of Mark.

The first three essays in this volume move in different ways between real and implied Markan realities: from implied audience to real (ancient) audience, from real (contemporary, oral) narrator to implied (ancient, oral) narrator, and from implied audience to various real (or ‘unimplied’) audiences. The next three essays treat the central Markan reality of parable as it connects author, narrator, and audience in challenging ways. The final three essays concern the relation of Mark’s characters among themselves or the relation of narrator and character, recognizing the complexity of characterization in the Gospel as a form of communication between author and audience.

Elizabeth Struthers Malbon is Professor in the Department of Religion & Culture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA.

Series: New Testament Monographs, 23
978-1-906055-60-8 hardback / 978-1-909697-21-8 paperback
Publication March 2009

Introduction: Elizabeth Struthers Malbon

Relating Implied and Real Audiences in Interpretation
1. Ian H. Henderson, Reconstructing Mark's Double Audience
2. Philip Ruge-Jones, Omnipresent, not Omniscient: How Literary Interpretation Confuses the Storyteller’s Narrating
3. Stephen D. Moore, The SS Officer at the Foot of the Cross: A Tragedy in Three Acts

Relating Author, Narrator, and Audience in Interpreting Parabolically
4. Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll, Mysterious Explanations: Mark 4 and the Reversal of Audience Expectation
5. Robin Griffith-Jones, Going back to Galilee to See the Son of Man: Mark’s Gospel as an Upside-Down Apocalypse
6. Annalisa Guida, From Parabol? to Semeion: The Nuptial Imagery in Mark and John

Relating Narrator and Character in Interpretation
7. Elizabeth Shively, The Story Matters: Solving the Problem of the Parables in Mark 3:23-27
8. Joel F. Williams, Jesus’ Love for the Rich Man (Mark 10:21): A Disputed Response toward a Disputed Character
9. Elizabeth Struthers Malbon, The Jesus of Mark and the ‘Son of David’

Overall, this volume is an interesting collection of recent studies that show the creative and substantive turns narrative criticism and its related methodologies have taken. Practitioners of narrative, reader-response, and performance criticisms, as well as those working in feminist and postmodern criticisms, will find this work a welcome exploration of new textual and methodological vistas. Christopher W. Skinner, Religious Studies Review.