Sunday, October 19, 2008

How a reader in Mark's time would have read his Gospel

This is a quote within a quote, found in The Gospel of Mark by R.T. France, p.6 -

Lucas Grollenberg interestingly draws our attention to the account given by the German classical scholar G├╝ther Zuntz of his first encounter with Mark's gospel. Thoroughly at home in the literature of the Roman Empire, Zuntz,, we are told, was nonetheless quite unfamiliar with Christianity and its literature, and thus came to Mark with a freshness of perception impossible to most modern Christian readers. His response thus represents, says, Grollenberg, 'what this book must have looked like to an educated reader of the first century of our era'. Zuntz speaks of his 'strong impression' that 'something very important was being put forward here with a superior purpose and concentration throughout the book ... The style and content of the story arouse a feeling of otherness, a feeling that this is not a history like other histories, not a biography like other biographies, but a development of the actions, sayings, and sufferings of a higher being on his way through this anxious world of human beings and demons.'

Should you have your own reflections during the week on what we're reading, or already have read, feel free to post them here in comments and I'll try to find time to cut / paste them into a new posting for all to read.