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The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark's Gospel

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What difference does it make to identify Mark's gospel as an ancient biography?Reading the gospels as ancient biographies makes a profound difference to the way that we interpret them. Biography immortalizes the memory of the subject, creating a literary monument to the person?s life and teaching. Yet it is also a bid to legitimize a specific view of that figure and to position an author and his audience as appropriate ?gatekeepers? of that memory. Biography was well suited to the articulation of shared values and commitments, the formation of group identity, and the binding together of a past story, present concerns, and future hopes.  Helen Bond argues that Mark?s author used the genre of biography to extend the gospel from an earlier narrow focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus so that it included the way of life of its founding figure. Situating Jesus at the heart of a biography was a bold step in outlining a radical form of Christian discipleship patterned on the life - and death - of Jesus.Review?This is a beautifully crafted study that soundly explores the Gospel of Mark and probes its meanings, written by one of the world?s most eminent scholars in the field. In taking its genre seriously, Bond demonstrates that the Gospel?s curious characteristics fall into place. Mark is an innovative work, recrafting the Jesus tradition into a form that would serve as a model for discipleship. With this insight in place, Bond takes the reader through the world of ancient ?lives? to this one, allowing us to see the Gospel with fresh eyes, to admire both its literary craft and its message.?- Joan Taylor King?s College London ?Despite the now widely held view that Mark?s Gospel is an ancient biography, few Markan scholars have explored the narrative-critical implications of this genre. In this groundbreaking work full of fresh insights, Helen Bond skillfully redresses that deficiency and shows how reading Mark?s Gospel as ancient biography can fruitfully inform how we understand its message.?- Craig S. Keener Asbury Theological Seminary, author of Christobiography ?With characteristic insight and clarity, Helen Bond places Mark's Gospel in the company of other ancient lives of philosophers. The result is a fascinating reading of Mark's Gospel as a bios that both reflects and subverts the literary conventions of that genre, all in light of its intent focus on its protagonist, Jesus of Nazareth. Bond's considerable achievement is to hold in tension both the narrative world of the Gospel and the social and historical circumstances of its first-century readers, demonstrating not simply how to read Mark as a bios, but what difference it made, and makes.?- Chris Keith St Mary's University, Twickenham ?In her well written study Helen Bond makes a strong case for reading Mark?s Gospel as an ancient biography. Her careful analysis of ancient bioi shows why the genre of the gospels matters. Moreover, Mark?s Gospel is approached from a literary as well as a historical perspective to demonstrate that the work was written by a creative and learned author who provides a vivid portrait of Jesus. This study opens up a fresh reading of Mark which overcomes less-helpful alternatives of previous scholarship.?- Jens Schröter Humboldt University BerlinAbout the AuthorHelen K. Bond is senior lecturer in New Testament at the University of Edinburgh and director of the Edinburgh Centre for the Study of Christian Origins.

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What difference does it make to identify Mark's gospel as an ancient biography?Reading the gospels as ancient biographies makes a profound difference to the way that we interpret them. Biography immortalizes the memory of the subject, creating a literary monument to the person?s life and teaching. Yet it is also a bid to legitimize a specific view of that figure and to position an author and his audience as appropriate ?gatekeepers? of that memory. Biography was well suited to the articulation of shared values and commitments, the formation of group identity, and the binding together of a past story, present concerns, and future hopes.  Helen Bond argues that Mark?s author used the genre of biography to extend the gospel from an earlier narrow focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus so that it included the way of life of its founding figure. Situating Jesus at the heart of a biography was a bold step in outlining a radical form of Christian discipleship patterned on the life - and death - of Jesus.Review?This is a beautifully crafted study that soundly explores the Gospel of Mark and probes its meanings, written by one of the world?s most eminent scholars in the field. In taking its genre seriously, Bond demonstrates that the Gospel?s curious characteristics fall into place. Mark is an innovative work, recrafting the Jesus tradition into a form that would serve as a model for discipleship. With this insight in place, Bond takes the reader through the world of ancient ?lives? to this one, allowing us to see the Gospel with fresh eyes, to admire both its literary craft and its message.?- Joan Taylor King?s College London ?Despite the now widely held view that Mark?s Gospel is an ancient biography, few Markan scholars have explored the narrative-critical implications of this genre. In this groundbreaking work full of fresh insights, Helen Bond skillfully redresses that deficiency and shows how reading Mark?s Gospel as ancient biography can fruitfully inform how we understand its message.?- Craig S. Keener Asbury Theological Seminary, author of Christobiography ?With characteristic insight and clarity, Helen Bond places Mark's Gospel in the company of other ancient lives of philosophers. The result is a fascinating reading of Mark's Gospel as a bios that both reflects and subverts the literary conventions of that genre, all in light of its intent focus on its protagonist, Jesus of Nazareth. Bond's considerable achievement is to hold in tension both the narrative world of the Gospel and the social and historical circumstances of its first-century readers, demonstrating not simply how to read Mark as a bios, but what difference it made, and makes.?- Chris Keith St Mary's University, Twickenham ?In her well written study Helen Bond makes a strong case for reading Mark?s Gospel as an ancient biography. Her careful analysis of ancient bioi shows why the genre of the gospels matters. Moreover, Mark?s Gospel is approached from a literary as well as a historical perspective to demonstrate that the work was written by a creative and learned author who provides a vivid portrait of Jesus. This study opens up a fresh reading of Mark which overcomes less-helpful alternatives of previous scholarship.?- Jens Schröter Humboldt University BerlinAbout the AuthorHelen K. Bond is senior lecturer in New Testament at the University of Edinburgh and director of the Edinburgh Centre for the Study of Christian Origins.

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This Item Ships to   

   

Please allow 10 days for your order to arrive. You will receive a tracking number for your order via email. To keep prices low we ship via the US Postal Service. This means sometimes you have to wait a little longer to get your order but it's always worth it!

Returns are easy, simply contact us and send your item to our returns centre for fast processing. We'll get you a replacement or refund in a snap!

Here are 5 more great reasons to buy from us:

so
   

You get a full 30 days to return your item to us. If it doesn't fit, it breaks, you've changed your mind or for no reason whatsoever simply send it back to us and we'll cheerfully refund you 100% of your order.

Returns are easy, simply contact us for a returns number and send your item to our returns centre for fast processing. We'll get you a replacement or refund in a snap!

In the unlikely event that you find your item cheaper at another online store, just let us know and we'll beat the competitor's pricing hands-down.

We insist that you love everything you buy from us. If you're unhappy for any reason whatsoever, just let us know and we'll bend over backwards to make things right again.

Ordering from Biblestore is 100% safe and secure so you can rest easy. Your personal details are never shared, sold or rented to anyone either.

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