Do all literary sources need to be, well, literary? Adam Winn on (non-)literary sources

Mark and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative: Considering the Practice of Greco-Roman Imitation in the Search for Markan Source Material

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I am trying to write my proposed SBL paper (since it is my first time, I have to turn the entire paper in). It will be fore Markan Literary sources:

This Seminar on Markan Literary Sources will explore Mark’s literary dependence on extant literature, especially Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman—a topic that has long been neglected. The method will include awareness of: (a) ancient methods of reshaping texts; (b) recently-developed criteria for judging literary dependence.

For those who have followed my blog – and to Robert who constantly has to hear about mimesis – you can see why I would love this section.

Anyway, as I am preparing my paper, I am discussing five scholars and their take on Mark 5.1-20. While Dr. Adam Winn doesn’t necessarily discuss Mark 5.1-20 (he does somewhat, just not like the others), his second work, pictured above (could you do me two favors? 1.) Order the book and 2.) request it on Kindle), provides me with something to set my mind at ease. After noting the problem with source and redactional critics and their use of strict criteria, Winn notes that this criteria for literary dependence “need(s) to be significantly revised in light of ancient writing practices – in particular the practice of mimesis or imitatio.” He notes that the lack of “strong verbal agreement and specific similarity in detail” are not the only criteria for a literary dependence. Other sources, in concludes, should be considered.

Okay, so that’s how far I’ve got into this book… but it is enough to convince me that my thesis is allowable. Woot.

Post By Joel L. Watts (10,151 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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2 thoughts on “Do all literary sources need to be, well, literary? Adam Winn on (non-)literary sources

    • I love his take on Mark. His second book is a great one and I hipe that he continues forward with it. My thesis – and my SBL paper – is sorta built on his work.

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