Mimetic Mediators in Mark: How Graeco-Roman Biographies Use Secondary Characters to Offer Multiple Patterns of Imitation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Can the Markan disciples still be viewed as potential role models for the Gospel audience if Mark’s writing is identified as a biography? This long-standing line of narrative interpretation has recently been rejected as anachronistic by Helen K. Bond, who maintains that in Graeco-Roman biographies, secondary characters are only included for what they bring to the portrait of the protagonist. In response, this paper demonstrates that ancient biographies regularly use followers of their main characters to provide multiple mimetic patterns that clarify, broaden, and mitigate what it means to imitate their heroes. In particular, Mark’s cast of secondary characters offers three alternative patterns of behaviour for potential followers of Jesus: apostles, who emulate his itinerant lifestyle of preaching, healing, and exorcism; hosts, who provide apostles with food and shelter in their homes; and supporters, who serve the movement in other ways in accordance with their abilities and social status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-488
JournalJournal for the Study of the New Testament
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • bioi
  • exempla
  • mimesis
  • narratology
  • paradeigmata
  • vitae

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Mimetic Mediators in Mark: How Graeco-Roman Biographies Use Secondary Characters to Offer Multiple Patterns of Imitation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this