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My Chapter on Jesus Walking on Water in a Forthcoming Volume

A few years ago, I attended a conference at the Sydney College of Divinity. The edited volume that has come out of the conference is entitled The Future of Gospels and Acts Research (ed. Peter G. Bolt; CGAR Series 3; Sydney: SCD Press, 2021). Here are the contents of the book:

  1. Peter G. Bolt, Introduction: The Future is Now
  1. James R. Harrison, Social Stratification and Poverty Studies
    in First-Century Roman Palestine: An Evaluation of
    Recent Research on the Economic Context of the First Disciples
  2. Mary J. Marshall, Essenic Influence on Jesus, His Brothers,
    and the Early Church
  3. Emily Fero-Kovassy, ‘Doing the Will of the Father in Heaven’
    in Matthew 7:21: Polemics and Law Observance
  4. Timothy P. Bradford, Born Eunuch: Recovering an
    Ancient Metaphor
  5. Michael J. Kok, Jesus’ Imperial Authority over the Sea
    in Mark 6:45–52
  6. Chris Spark, ‘With a Noble and Good Heart’.
    ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ (LUKE 8:15) in Graeco-Roman
    Cultural-Communicative Context
  7. Peter G. Bolt, Breathing in Enoch to Breathe out Jesus.
    An Aspect of Luke’s Apocalypticism
  8. Stephen Rockwell, Nathanael as a Remnant Figure in the
    Gospel of John: A Fresh Look at an Enigmatic Character
  9. John A. Davies, Many Abidings (John 14:2)
  10. Christopher Seglenieks, Τhe Μeaning of πιστεύω in the
    Gospel of John
  11. Andrew Stewart, What Did Paul’s Companions Hear?
    How the Syntax of ἀκούω Aids the Interpretation of
    Acts 9:7 and 22:9.

My chapter is on the account about Jesus walking on water in Mark’s Gospel. I will provide my abstract and a few sentences from my introduction to give you an idea about my thesis:

“The pericope about Jesus walking on the water in Mark 6:45–52 has been central to the debates over the Christology of Mark’s Gospel and whether it describes Jesus as fully divine or as an idealised human agent. Nevertheless, in line with some recent scholarship that reads Mark’s language of divine sonship in light of the Davidic messianic expectations within Second Temple Judaism on the one hand and the Roman imperial cult on the other, this essay will argue that the evangelist has been influenced by an older imperial ideology and that a Davidic Christology is the hermeneutical key to interpreting Mark 6:45–52. Specifically, the Markan Jesus was empowered to conquer and rule over the forces of chaos symbolised by the sea as the representative of the God of Israel and the royal heir of King David.” (p. 125)

“Building on the research of J. R. Daniel Kirk, Stephen L. Young, and Debra Scroggins Ballentine, I will argue that Mark 6:45–52 reproduced an older imperial ideology which portrayed a sovereign ruler subduing the forces of chaos that were symbolised by the tumultuous sea. In this way, Jesus exercised the regal authority that had been delegated to him by Israel’s national deity.” (p. 127)

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