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The Gospel of Mark

A Hypertextual Commentary


Bartosz Adamczewski

This commentary demonstrates that the Gospel of Mark is a result of a consistent, strictly sequential, hypertextual reworking of the contents of three of Paul’s letters: Galatians, First Corinthians and Philippians. Consequently, it shows that the Marcan Jesus narratively embodies the features of God’s Son who was revealed in the person, teaching, and course of life of Paul the Apostle. The analysis of the topographic and historical details of the Marcan Gospel reveals that they were mainly borrowed from the Septuagint and from the writings of Flavius Josephus. Other literary motifs were taken from various Jewish and Greek writings, including the works of Homer, Herodotus, and Plato. The Gospel of Mark should therefore be regarded as a strictly theological-ethopoeic work, rather than a biographic one.
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General conclusions


The detailed intertextual analysis of the Gospel of Mark in its relationship to the letters of Paul the Apostle has revealed that the Marcan work is a result of a systematic, strictly sequential, but on the other hand highly creative, hypertextual reworking of Paul’s letters to the Galatians (in Mk 1-7), the first to the Corinthians (in Mk 8-13), and to the Philippians (in Mk 14-16).

The common features of the Marcan work and the Pauline letters have already been noticed by a numbers of scholars. However, this commentary for the first time in history in a detailed and systematic way explains their strictly sequential arrangement.

The detection of the strictly literary basis of the similarities between the Marcan Gospel and the Pauline letters was possible thanks to the consistent application of the criterion of the order of parallels between them. This criterion, which turned out to be decisive in the detection of the phenomenon of sequential hypertextuality in numerous other biblical works (Gen, Exod-Lev-Num, Deut, Sam-Kgs, Chr, Mt, Lk, Jn, Acts, Rom, Gal, Eph, 2 Thes, Hebr, 2 Pet, and Rev), turned out to be decisive in the case of the Gospel of Mark as well.

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