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Mark and High Christology

To keep the conversation about Mark’s theological views about Jesus going, I want to spend some more time looking at a few other passages that some scholars read as suggesting a “high Christology” in the Gospel. I do not like the categories of “high” or “low” Christology since scholars are judging the earlier New Testament texts by the later standard of the creeds, but basically “high Christology” has come to mean presentations of the divinity of Jesus (e.g. Jesus as embodying God’s Word, Wisdom, Glory, or Name) as opposed to “lower” human categories (e.g. teacher, prophet, anointed ruler or Messiah). I tend to think that one or both emphases are present in different New Testament writings, and theologians formulating the doctrine of Jesus’ divine and human natures want to do justice to the whole of the New Testament, but I want to restrict the analysis to how Mark’s Gospel might have been originally interpreted by its initial audience. I discussed the nature miracles in the previous post, but here are some other examples I can think of:

  • The application of biblical texts to Jesus that previously referred to the “Lord” God (Mark 1:2-3; see also Mark 5:19-20).
  • Jesus claim to forgive sins and the accusation of blasphemy.
  • The transfiguration in which Jesus appears with Moses and Elijah and radiates with divine glory.
  • Jesus seated at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds in judgment.

Email me if there are other verses in Mark that could be discussed.

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