Today is Transfiguration Sunday – What I think is going on

The RCL (revised common lectionary for you heretics like Jim and Jeremy) has the reading from Luke this morning, just a cheap knock-off of Mark.

Anyway, if you go to the real Transfiguration in Mark 9.2-8, you’ll see this:

  1. This is Mark’s storytelling pivot. What happened before was directed against one person. What happens after the transfiguration will be directed against another person. It’s all in my book, wink wink.
  2. The Transfiguration repeats Jesus’ Baptism from Mark 1.
  3. The Transfiguration draws from Daniel 7, with the scene between the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man, because Mark wants you to understand who Jesus is. He is the Son of Man of eschatological lore.
  4. The Transfiguration also draws from the same historical reality underlying Mark 13.

Anyway, today is Transfiguration Sunday. As Christians, it should be a time to renew our mission, declare Jesus the Son of Man, the Heaven-Sent messenger, Son of God.


Joel L. Watts
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).

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