LOY Excursus: Mark’s Editorial Style

LOY Excursions

This LOY Excursus is a compendium of observations regarding the redactional changes the author of Mark typically made to his sources. It also discusses the image of Jesus the author of Mark wanted to portray in his Gospel.

Dedicated to the memory of Professor Eduard Yechezkel Kutscher (1909-1971).
Revised: 9 November 2022[1]

The writing style of the author of the Gospel of Mark has long been regarded as idiosyncratic.[2] Mark’s pervasive use of the “historical present”[3] and its bizarre proliferation of the word εὐθύς are two well-known examples.[4] Despite its awkwardness, and indeed sometimes because of it, Mark’s Gospel has been regarded as the most primitive of the Synoptic Gospels and one of the sources for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Robert Lindsey challenged this scholarly consensus of Markan Priority when he discovered the more Hebraic quality of Luke vis-à-vis Mark and vis-à-vis Matthew wherever Matthew was dependent on Mark. Lindsey concluded that Luke was the first of the Synoptic Gospels, that Mark reworked Luke, and that Matthew is based on Mark and one of the sources upon which Luke is based.[5]

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin
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    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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