Since it is relevant to a discussion of authorship, this is a repost from the “Golden Rule” Blog that looked specifically at Joel Marcus’s case to put Mark in the Pauline sphere. Marcus makes a good summary and defense of the evangelist as a (later) interpreter of Paul rather than Peter; others advocating Mark as Pauline include Alfred Loisy, G. Volkmar, BW Bacon, JC Fenton, Michael Goulder, William Telford, DC Sim and Michael Bird (though he sees both Pauline and Petrine influences). Again, I’m withholding judgment until conclusion of the series.
I want to look at an article by Joel Marcus, “Mark – interpreter of Paul,” New Testament Studies 46 (2000): 473-487. Marcus sets out to challenge the older consensus since Martin Werner’s 1923 monograph Der Einfluss paulinischer Theologie im Markusevangelium that denied the relationship between Mark and Paul. He looks at how Paul’s opinions on the Law or theology of the cross may have been a great deal more controversial among the early Jesus groups and “If Paul was a lonely and contentious figure rather than a universally approved one, it is more remakable than it would otherwise be that Mark frequently agrees with him” (474). He notes a number of similarities between Mark and Paul on pages 475-476:
- The dominant use of the noun euangelion (Note how often the singular noun euangelion (gospel) is in Mark and Paul and how rare it is prior to and in the rest of the NT (cf. Steve Mason, “Methods and Categories: Judaism and Gospel“).
- The significance of the cross as the apocalyptic turning point of history. Also, the view of the crucifixion as an atoning death (Mark 10:45; Rom 3:25; 5:8).
- Jesus victory over demonic powers (Markan exorcisms; Rom 8:38-39; 1 Cor 15:24).
- The advent of the age of divine blessings in fulfillment of prophecy (Mark 1:1-14; Rom 3:21-22). Jesus as the New Adam (Rom 5:12-19; 1 Cor 15:45; the temptation narrative in Mark and Jesus’ dazzling clothes in the transfiguration).
- Importance of faith in Jesus or God and the dualism between the elect who can truly see versus the blind outsiders (Mark 4:10-12; Rom 11:7-10; 1 Cor 2:6-16). Dualism can lead to a universalistic perspective (Mark 10:45; Rom 11:35-42).
- The mission to the Jew first and then to the Gentile (Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:27-29; Rom 1:16).
- Jesus came to redeem sinners (Mark 2:17; Rom 4:15; 5:18-19).
- Negative views of Peter with the rest of the twelve (e.g. hardnesss of heart, calling Peter Satan or 3 denials) and Jesus’ family (Mark 3:20-21, 31-35; 8:31-33; Gal 2).
- The widening of the divine purpose to incorporate Gentiles was accomplished by an apocalyptic change in the Law (e.g., see the very similar language in Mark 7:19 and Rom 14:20 about the abrogation of the food laws).
So what do you think? Is this enough evidence to put the Gospel of Mark (along with other later Paulinists = Colossians/Ephesians, Luke-Acts, Pastorals, Ignatius) in the Pauline sphere of influence or are these alleged parallels simply generally held more widely in the early Christian movement?