Chapter

Rethinking Divine Sonship in the Gospel of Mark

Michael Peppard

in The Son of God in the Roman World

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199753703
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914432 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753703.003.0005
Rethinking Divine Sonship in the Gospel of Mark

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Chapter 4 demonstrates the ways in which Mark's image of Jesus and his followers interacts with that of the Roman emperor and the imperial family. Reading the baptism of Jesus through the lens of imperial ideology encourages one to hear the divine voice as an adoption, the beginning of Jesus' accession as a son and heir. The dove functions as an omen of this grace and counter‐symbol to the eagle, which was a public portent of divine favor and election in Roman culture. The adoptive relationship can be traced later in the gospel and understood to relate to the divine sonship offered by God to all people through the Spirit. The chapter further contends that the supposedly “low” connotations of such an adoption are a misconstrual of ancient evidence. Mark crafted a portrayal that was theologically coherent and also resonated in its cultural context.

Keywords: Gospel of Mark; Jesus; baptism; Son of God; Jewish adoption; Roman adoption; Christology; Eagle; Dove; Mimicry

Chapter.  24732 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion

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