The Origins of Mark: The Markan Community in Current Debate

The book observes and calls into question the scholarly practice of constructing a community behind the Gospel of Mark (and by implication, other Gospels as well) and using that community to control appropriate interpretation of Mark. It presents and critiques particular exemplars of this practice, and briefly suggests other ways to ground the interpretation of Mark. After an introduction, chapters are devoted to the work of Werner Kelber, Howard Clark Kee and Ched Myers. Critical conclusions are then drawn, after which the recent work of Joel Marcus is discussed. A final chapter briefly suggests ways forward. Constructing communities behind Gospels and using those communities as interpretive keys in Gospel interpretation is a widespread scholarly practice. To date, no full length critique of the practice has been published. This book fills that lacuna.