Recently read: Bond’s “The First Biography of Jesus”

Helen Bond, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel (Eerdmans, 2020). (Amazon; Bookshop)

I received my copy of this book from the journal Review and Expositor, so I’m saving my full review for them, but I’ll say here what I said on the website “Goodreads”:

This is about as good a case as I’ve read for reading Mark as a form of the ancient Greco-Roman genre of bioi. But it’s more than that, as Bond shows the practical implications of reading Mark this way. For example, one big takeaway would be the centrality of the main character in a biography and how secondary characters exist only to reflect upon the primary one. In other words, the reader should not see themselves in Peter or Judas or Pilate…but instead, compare themselves only to the moral/ethical example of Jesus. This approach could alter everything from scholarly to liturgical to devotional readings of Mark.


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