The Discipleship of Wisdom: A Process of Transformation

Marie Noonan Sabin

in Reopening the Word

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143591
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834600 | DOI:
The Discipleship of Wisdom: A Process of Transformation

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Sabin argues that Mark's characterization of the Jesus community must be understood in the context of the Wisdom traditions, where it is common to pose an antithesis between the wise and the foolish; within the Markan narrative, she argues, the obtuse and faithless behavior of the male disciples constitutes a metaphor for folly. Mark dramatizes their folly by showing how they repeatedly fail to comply with the instruction of their teacher, Wisdom/Jesus; they are symbolic fools in respect to their self‐aggrandizement, their greed, and their failure to “watch” for God's kingdom. At the same time, Mark sets up a foil to their foolishness in the actions of the women who, in their faithful following of Wisdom/Jesus, become symbols of the wise. First the women, who start out as social pariahs (the mother‐in‐law, the menstruating woman, the dead child) are all “raised up” to a new status through Jesus’ miraculous intervention; then they act out the roles the male disciples have failed to perform (they anoint,follow, and watch). If the authentic ending of Mark (Mk 16:1–8) is translated properly, they are shown to be so transformed by Jesus’ resurrection that they become its first witnesses, and bearers and symbols of God's renewed Creation.

Keywords: authentic ending of Mark; discipleship; foolish; resurrection; transformation; wisdom traditions; wise; women; women disciples

Chapter.  16066 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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