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The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel , by Helen K. Bond

The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel , by Helen K. Bond Helen K. Bond, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020. xiii + 317 pp. hb. $ 42.99, ISBN 978-0802874603.While most scholars have categorized the Gospels as ancient biographies, few explore adequately the implications of this genre classification. That is precisely what Helen Bond, Professor of Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh, does in her well-written and well-researched piece, The First Biography of Jesus. When Bond asks the question of what it means to say that Mark’s Gospel is Graeco-Roman biography (βίος), most scholars reduce the effects of that identification to recognizing that the Gospels are selective in their portrayals of Jesus, not comprehensive; and that ‘biographers’ blend linear chronology with episodic exposition. Bond, however, demonstrates that there is much more to the story. She argues that Mark appropriated this genre in order to extend Christian proclamation from simply focusing on the death and resurrection of Jesus to include his life.After a short introduction where she explains why the payoff for interpreting the Gospels as a βίος has been so ‘meagre’, she outlines how her tome will proceed, seeking ultimately to ‘read Mark’s work according to the literary conventions of ancient biographical literature’ http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evangelical Quarterly Brill

The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel , by Helen K. Bond

Evangelical Quarterly , Volume 93 (2): 2 – Jun 16, 2022

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0014-3367
eISSN
2772-5472
DOI
10.1163/27725472-09302012
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Helen K. Bond, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020. xiii + 317 pp. hb. $ 42.99, ISBN 978-0802874603.While most scholars have categorized the Gospels as ancient biographies, few explore adequately the implications of this genre classification. That is precisely what Helen Bond, Professor of Christian Origins at the University of Edinburgh, does in her well-written and well-researched piece, The First Biography of Jesus. When Bond asks the question of what it means to say that Mark’s Gospel is Graeco-Roman biography (βίος), most scholars reduce the effects of that identification to recognizing that the Gospels are selective in their portrayals of Jesus, not comprehensive; and that ‘biographers’ blend linear chronology with episodic exposition. Bond, however, demonstrates that there is much more to the story. She argues that Mark appropriated this genre in order to extend Christian proclamation from simply focusing on the death and resurrection of Jesus to include his life.After a short introduction where she explains why the payoff for interpreting the Gospels as a βίος has been so ‘meagre’, she outlines how her tome will proceed, seeking ultimately to ‘read Mark’s work according to the literary conventions of ancient biographical literature’

Journal

Evangelical QuarterlyBrill

Published: Jun 16, 2022

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