Mark / Mimesis

Jeremiah in Mark 1 and 2 — intertextuality and allusions as atmosphere

One of the essential tools of mimetic criticism is the use of cues early in the text. We look for these as early as possible in the primary text so that as we read through, the secondary texts come through. This intertextuality is important — because it doesn’t just make cute allusions, but uses the previous text (preserving it, often times) to build an ideological (in our case, theological) aural atmosphere in which to read the text. This is the case with the Gospel of Mark. If we miss these cues, we miss the points Mark is trying to

Gospel Criticism / Mark / Mimesis

Dammit Bultmann! Stop rationalizing the miracles! The Bread, Loaves, and Myth

Rudolf Bultmann, the father of demythologization, urged people to get behind the text. On that, I agree. I also agree that sometimes the superstition of the age, or the need to see things in a miraculous way, can be passed down in an oral society much easier than it can today. But, I don’t think that is what is happening with the story of the fishes and the loaves. At this point, I do not care if the event(s) actually happened. I don’t think that we can determine if Jesus set on a hilltop and fed even a single


Jacob and Jesus’s wrestling with the divine

You know the story. Jacob and the Angel wrestle throughout the night… until the break of day. If you don’t, it is found in Genesis 32.24–30. The daybreak is important, as pointed out in IVP’s OT background: leaving at daybreak. The reference to time indicates both the length of the struggle between Jacob and the divine being and serves as an indicator of Jacob’s lack of perception during the fight. Daybreak or “cock’s crow” are often found in folklore as the moment when powers and creatures of the dark lose their power to affect humans, though this is not

Gospel Criticism / Matthew / Mimesis / etc.

Proverbs 22 as the Mimetic Precursor to Matthew 10 (Also, Luke used Matthew and Mark)

I’d like you to compare, for a moment, Matthew 10 and Proverbs 22 (see it in the LXX here). Not, especially Matthew 10.18 and Proverbs 22.29. A man who is skillful in his work, you shall see:     before kings, he will serve;     he will not serve before the commoners. (Proverbs 22.29) And you will be brought before both governors and kings because of me, for a witness to them and to the Gentiles. (Matthew 10.18) I can turn to Mark 13.9 as the literary precursor — as if often the case with Matthew who uses Mark as his primary


what if the Gospels are histories…?

Thinking through a few things… I really like what is going on here, even though I may disagree with him on other things. “[H]istorical narratives [….] succeed in endowing sets of past events with meanings, over and above whatever comprehension they provide by appeal to putative causal laws, by exploiting the metaphorical similarities between sets of real events and the conventional structures of our fictions. By the very constitution of a set of events in such a way as to make a comprehensible story out of them, the historian charges those events with the symbolic significance of a comprehensible


Mimesis in 3 models

Peter Nesteruk has suddenly become a must read for those of us interesting in mimesis and mimetic criticism of texts. He presents three models of mimesis. The first he labels “Mimesis of the Same.” Simply, hyperbole or “an imaginary community of identification.” In the Gospel of Mark, we can see this in the use of the Elijah-Elisha narratives, especially in Mark 6–8. His second model is “Mimesis of the other.” The basis of this mimesis is “an enemy to be either destroyed or incorporated; but to be learnt from first.” It is a “(a) mimesis whose origin may be ourselves.

Books / Gospel Criticism / Mimesis

quote of the day – Anthony Le Donne and Salome

I am reading through the books surrendered to me for review. So I’ll post quotes or insights from them as I progress. Anthony Le Donne (while I think ascribing to GThom a too-early-date) has written a marvelous little book, laying a trap for us I think. Anyway, one quote at the moment stands out. In writing about Salome and the Proto-Gospel of James, Le Donne notes the explosion of post-canonical detail given to this unique woman in the Gospel narratives. He concludes, When silenced by historical memory, historical fiction filled in the gaps. (34) I am uneasy about the