The New Testament’s messianic interpretation of the Old is an important key to its theology. This book examines the way the author of the Gospel of Mark uses the Old Testament to convey the identity of Jesus. Joel Marcus examines in detail several important Markan passages which use the Old Testament. His central thesis is that Mark’s Old Testament usage follows paths already made by Jewish exegesis, particularly apocalyptic reinterpretations of Old Testament texts. Giving such eschatological exegesis his own characteristic twist, Mark presents Jesus as God’s true Messiah who brings the prophesied victory in eschatological holy war. Unlike the Jewish War against Rome in A.D. 66-72, however, the holy war portrayed by Mark is not fought with conventional weapons but won through the apocalyptic event of Jesus’ death and resurrection. This thoroughly documented and closely argued study is an important contribution to our understanding of the Gospel of Mark.
Joel Marcus is Lecturer in the Department of Biblical Studies, University of Glasgow. He is also a series co-editor of the Studies of the New Testament and its World.