Faithlife Corporation

Business Hours

Monday – Saturday
6 AM – 6 PM PST
Local: 7:44 PM
A Myth of Innocence: Mark and Christian Origins
See inside
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

A Myth of Innocence: Mark and Christian Origins


Fortress Press 2006

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Throughout the centuries, scholars and theologians have studied, searched, and debated the origin of Christianity in the historical Jesus. In this volume, author Burton L. Mack “reconstruct[s] the outline of the social situations that gave rise to the Gospels” to “show how the picture of Christian origins might change with a single shift in perspective on the social history documented by the early texts.”

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.

Save more when you purchase this book as part of the Fortress Press Studies in Mark collection.

Key Features

  • Offers insight into the origin of Christianity
  • Studies the Gospel of Mark as narrative
  • Analyzes the historical and cultural contexts surrounding Mark’s composition


  • The Temple and the Land of Palestine
  • Jesus in Galilee
  • The Followers of Jesus
  • The Congregation of the Christ
  • The Patterns of Social Conflict
  • The Parables of Jesus
  • The Pronouncement Stories
  • The Miracle Stories
  • The Entanglements of History and Myth
  • The Narrative Designs
  • The Compositional Process
  • The Gospel as Myth
  • The Gospel as Aocalypse
  • The Gospel as Parable
  • The Gospel as Paradigm

Praise for the Print Edition

This imaginative book is not just a study of the Gospel of Mark, but of primitive Christianity in all its variegated forms, for which it represents a new paradigm . . . It deserves serious reflection and discussion at several levels, in a variety of contexts, by quite diversified discussion partners.

James M. Robinson, emeritus professor, Claremont Graduate University

This is an epic-making work because it turns scholarship on its head. Mack asks questions not about origins but about social meaning. The entire conception of what we want to know, why we want to know it, and how we shall find it out is new and compelling.

—Jacob Neusner, distinguished service professor of the history and theology of Judaism, Bard College

A Myth of Innocence is the most penetrating historical work on the origins of Christianity written by an American scholar in this century. Its strikingly innovative feature is the recombination of literary and social histories, and the placement of diverse Jesus movements into their respective social contexts.

Werner H. Kelber, Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies, emeritus, Rice University

A Myth of Innocence is surely one of the most important studies of the origins of Christianity since Schweitzer’s Quest. With a single stroke, Burton Mack has shifted the investigation from the quest for a singular genesis to the perspective of the social history and imaginative labor documented in the texts.

Ron Cameron, professor of religion, Wesleyan University

Product Details

About Burton L. Mack

Burton L. Mack was professor of New Testament at Claremont School of Theology, and is the author of Rhetoric and the New Testament, The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins, Who Wrote the New Testament? The Making of the Christian Myth, and The Christian Myth: Origins, Logic, and Legacy.

More details about this resource