Chapter

The Identity of the Markan Jesus: A Mashal

Marie Noonan Sabin

in Reopening the Word

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143591
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834600 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195143590.003.0005
The Identity of the Markan Jesus: A Mashal

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Sabin takes up the various identifying terms applied to Jesus in the Gospel of Mark – (1) Messiah, (2) the beloved son, (3) son of man, (4) son of David, and (5) son of Mary – and discusses their meaning in the context of Jewish tradition. In conclusion, Sabin argues that Mark identifies Jesus most of all with Wisdom, which Jewish tradition presents as the creative, nurturing, restorative aspect of God. Sabin finds Mark's Jesus to resemble Wisdom in his inclusive seeking out of followers, in his concern for feeding those around him, in his restorative acts of healing, forgiveness, and raising to new life. She argues that while Mark speaks of Jesus as an historical male, he describes him with the characteristics of Woman Wisdom. Finally, she sees that Mark, in presenting Jesus as God's Wisdom, also shows him to be God's “image and likeness,” a living parable (mashal) of “what God is like.”

Keywords: beloved son; image and likeness; Jesus; Jewish context; living parable; messiah; son of David; son of man; son of Mary; Woman Wisdom

Chapter.  29351 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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