Jesus or Cato the Younger?

A paper was presented at SBL this year in which the topic of honor and the Messianic Secret was discussed in relation to ]]’s book, ]], on the subject. In accordance with my upcoming book, I think Mark could have pulled from the story of Cato the Younger. In the bios of Cato written by Plutarch, we find a description of Cato that could easily apply to Jesus:

“He set out to accomplish his purposes with a vigour beyond his years, and while he was harsh and repellent to those who would flatter him, he was still more masterful towards those who tried to frighten him.”

Now, understand – this does not mean Jesus is some super-secret Cato, but an ideal “best man” can be behind both.

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4 Replies to “Jesus or Cato the Younger?”

  1. I am not quiet sure what you mean an “ideal best man” was behind both. Such language could come across as very misleading as far as your position on mr. Jesus’ historicity goes. Though I am pleased that you have read that book, Watson’s solution to the so called “messianic secret” is certainly worthy of consideration and hopefully many scholars will interact with it when considering the problem in the future.

  2. Oh, we’ll thank you for clarifying Mr. Watts. This is a rather fascinating parallel, I must say. It reminds me of Adela Collins commentary on Mark in which she says that in the second gospel Jesus seems to have been assimilated in to the ideal philosopher. Which coheres with what you seem to be saying here.

    This is why I find Mark so fascinating, it weaves together a variety of culturally meaningful metaphors almost seamlessly. Though perhaps I should hold my tongue, I often find myself shifting back and forth and all over when interpreting Mark, though recently I have come to believe more and more that Mark intends this, that is, to present Jesus as a subversive figure using metaphors that would have appealed to a variety of people, Gentile and Jew. What say you?

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