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Reopening the Word: Reading Mark as Theology in the Context of Early Judaism [Hardcover]

By Marie Noonan Sabin (Author)
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Item description for Reopening the Word: Reading Mark as Theology in the Context of Early Judaism by Marie Noonan Sabin...

This book asks: How might the earliest gospel have been heard by those first followers of Jesus who were religious Jews? Assuming that the earliest Jesus traditions took their shape from forms familiar to Judaism, Sabin sets the composition of Mark in the context of the theological discourse of first-century Judaism. In that context, she notes, all theology was biblical. It took the form of an exchange between current events and Scripture: contemporary persons and happenings were understood through the lens of the Hebrew Bible, while at the same time, the biblical word was reopened--that is, reinterpreted--so as to reveal its relevance to the present faith-community.
Applying this kind of compositional process to the Gospel of Mark, Sabin uncovers a fresh reading of the seed, fig tree, and vineyard parables; of the various Temple scenes; of the foolish disciples and the wise women; and of the controversial ending. She highlights the results of her findings by juxtaposing them with interpretations of the same passages given by various church fathers such as Origen, Irenaeus, and Bede, as well as by readings from the twentieth century. The results are provocative.
Sabin sees Mark as an original theologian shaping his material out of two primary Jewish traditions: the Wisdom traditions, with their emphasis on God's presence in daily life, and Creation theology, which imagined the End Time not as a catastrophe but as a return to the Garden. She thus offers a new way of understanding Mark's use of Scripture, his eschatology, and his presentation of Jesus.
In conclusion, she argues that retrieving Mark's voice in the context of Early Judaism brings with it insights much needed in our day: of God's presence in the ordinary; of God's image reflected in female as well as male; of watchfulness as the way of wisdom; of God's revelation as ongoing.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.52" Width: 6.62" Height: 1.04"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2002
Publisher   Oxford University Press
Edition  New  
ISBN  0195143590  
ISBN13  9780195143591  

Availability  148 units.
Availability accurate as of May 30, 2017 09:19.
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More About Marie Noonan Sabin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marie Noonan Sabin, Ph.D., has taught the Gospel of Mark at Bangor Theological Seminary; an earlier book on Mark, "Reopening the Word", was published by Oxford University Press in 2002.

Marie Noonan Sabin has published or released items in the following series...
  1. New Collegeville Bible Commentary: New Testament

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Discipleship
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament

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Reviews - What do customers think about Reopening the Word?

Professor of Jesus and Culture, Emory University  May 24, 2002
I found both new to me and completely convincing:
1. The establishment of the gospel's genre as midrash
2. The establishment of the true ending of the gospel and the right translation for the witnesses' awe. (I'm also glad to have the snakehandler's text exercised).
3. The immersion of the evangelist in the tradition of Wisdom.
4. The role of the women as the wise.
5. The interrelation of the sower parables and also their interrelation to the mustard seed parable. (One example of many such effective expositions).
Professor of Biblical Studies, Cornell University  May 1, 2002
The doyen of New Testament scholars of the past five decades, the late W.D. Davies of Duke University, said of Sabin's book that, "in a complicated field, the author writes in an admirably lucid, uncluttered style and draws upon the vast pertinent sources. The Gospel of Mark is one of the most scrutinized of all the Gospels. Dr. Sabin recognizes that it has been treated theologically, literarily, liturgically, and cathechetically; but she is innovative in suggesting a fresh approach to that Gospel.... After a very illuminating chapter in which she sets forth the meaning of the term Midrash, she examines Mark as a midrashic document. To show how such a midrashic approach leads to new insights, she juxtaposes her midrashic exegesis of Mark with one of the early Church Fathers and that of a contemporary exegete.... The result is a presentation of Mark which is often provocative and enriching: it may prove to be seminal."
I align myself with Davies' judgment and would add that her aim when countering longstanding standard approaches to the interpretation of Mark proves most successful. Time and again she produces novel insights and her criticism of major scholars in the field is both sophisticated and persuasive.

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