The Turning Point in the Gospel of Mark
Based on linguistic and thematic links in the narrative, The Turning Point in the Gospel of Mark argues that the twin pericopae of Peter's confession (8:27-38) and the Transfiguration (9:2-13) together function as the turning point of the Gospel and...
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Based on linguistic and thematic links in the narrative, The Turning Point in the Gospel of Mark argues that the twin pericopae of Peter's confession (8:27-38) and the Transfiguration (9:2-13) together function as the turning point of the Gospel and serve in a Janus-like manner enabling the reader to see the author's main focus: the identity of Jesus and the significance of that reality for his disciples. Peter's confession of Jesus as Messiah faces backward toward the Prologue (1:1-13) and functions as a mid-course conclusion. The declaration by God on the mountain faces forward and foreshadows the end-course conclusion (14:61-62; 15:39; Son of God). Jesus, in response, teaches that the Son of Man must suffer and die before being raised from the dead (8:31). Christologically, the images of Messiah, Son of Man, and Son of God converge and present Jesus, the crucified, as king, ushering in the kingdom of God in power (9:1 acting as the key swivel between the twin pericopae). When one is confronted with this Jesus, though there remains something elusive about him and the kingdom of God in the narrative, the only wise decision (after calculating the costs, 8:34-38) is to follow.
Francis J. Moloney, formerly Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, is Provincial Superior of the Salesian of Don Bosco in Australia. He is the author of many books, including Mark: Storyteller, Interpreter, Evangelist and The Gospel of John: Text and Context.- Publisher.