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Reading Mark’s Christology Under Caesar: Jesus the Messiah and Roman Imperial Ideology

ISBN: 9780830885626


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The Gospel of Mark has been studied from multiple angles using many methods. But often there remains a sense that something is wanting, that the full picture of Mark’s Gospel lacks some background circuitry that would light up the whole.

Adam Winn finds a clue in the cataclysmic destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70. For Jews and Christians it was an apocalyptic moment. The gods of Rome seemed to have conquered the God of the Jews.

Could it be that Mark wrote his Gospel in response to Roman imperial propaganda surrounding this event? Could a messiah crucified by Rome really be God’s Son appointed to rule the world?

Winn considers how Mark might have been read by Christians in Rome in the aftermath of the fall of Jerusalem. He introduces us to the propaganda of the Flavian emperors and excavates the Markan text for themes that address the Roman imperial setting. We discover an intriguing first-century response to the question “Christ or Caesar?”

Resource Experts
  • Examines the wide spectrum of views on Christology in the Gospel of Mark
  • Presents Jesus as both a powerful and suffering figure
  • Explores how the particular historical context affects the Gospel narrative
  • Reconstructing Mark’s Historical Setting
  • Mark’s Christological Titles
  • The Powerful Jesus of Mark 1–8
  • The Suffering Jesus of Mark 8:22–10:52
  • A Roman Reading of Mark’s So-Called Secrecy Motif
  • Jesus and the Temple
  • Jesus in Mark’s Passion Narrative
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix: Yahweh Christology in Mark’s Gospel
I welcome this contribution to the study of the Gospel of Mark in the context of the Roman Empire. The Jesus of the New Testament Gospels is thoroughly Jewish, to be sure, but he lived and ministered in a land that was part of the Roman world; and the evangelist Mark, the first to craft a biography of Jesus, understood this well. Mark challenges Rome and its cult of the divine emperor with a compelling portrait of the true Son of God. Adam Winn has perceptively pursued this line of inquiry shedding new light on this important field of study.

Craig A. Evans, John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins at Houston Baptist University

Adam Winn has composed a careful and thoughtful study of Mark’s story of Jesus with a view demonstrating the Markan Jesus’ superlative honor and power over and against the Roman empire with its propaganda about its own ‘Lord’ and ‘Son of God.’ By reading Mark’s Gospel in the context of the Roman world, Winn opens up new vistas of understanding that will truly excite and engage all readers.

Michael F. Bird, lecturer in theology at Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia

Building upon his earlier work on Mark, Adam Winn develops a fascinating reading of Markan Christology against the backdrop of Roman imperial power and propaganda under Vespasian in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70. Constantly rooted in contemporary Latin sources, this demonstration that Jesus’ power is perfected in his suffering, while his passion and crucifixion demonstrate his triumph, is greatly to be welcomed.

Richard A. Burridge, Dean of King’s College London

  • Title: Reading Mark’s Christology under Caesar: Jesus the Messiah and Roman Imperial Ideology
  • Author: Adam Winn
  • Publisher: IVP Academic
  • Print Publication Date: 2018
  • Logos Release Date: 2019
  • Pages: 204
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Jesus Christ › Person and offices; Bible. N.T. Mark › Criticism, interpretation, etc.--History; Church history › Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600; Emperor worship › Rome; Propaganda, Roman
  • ISBNs: 9780830885626, 9780830852116
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2020-09-29T20:46:08Z

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Adam Winn (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is assistant professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor College of Christian Studies. He is the author of Reading Mark’s Christology Under Caesar and The Purpose of Mark’s Gospel and editor of An Introduction to Empire in the New Testament.


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    Digital list price: $19.99
    Save $4.00 (20%)