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A Dual Reception

A Dual Reception: Eusebius and the Gospel of Mark

Author: 
Clayton L. Coombs (Author)
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Description

The ending of Mark’s Gospel is one of the great unsolved mysteries. However, interest in the Markan conclusion is not a modern phenomenon alone. Comments about the different attested endings date back to Eusebius’s Ad Marinum in the fourth century. Responding to the apparent discrepancy between the timing of the resurrection in Matthew and Mark, Eusebius notes one may solve the difficulty in one of two ways: either ignore the passage on the basis of the manuscript evidence or harmonize the two passages. Unfortunately, Eusebius’s comments are all too often viewed through the lens of the modern text-critical endeavor, and for that reason, his intent has largely been missed.


This volume argues that Eusebius’s double solution can be read as recognizing the authority of both the Longer and the Abrupt Conclusions to Mark’s Gospel. The solution represents his ecumenical synthesis of those authors who preceded him, the “faithful and pious” from whom the Scriptures have been received. Only with this understanding of the double solution may we fully appreciate Eusebius’s dual reception, which is indicative of a different approach to the issue—one that prioritizes the question of reception over authorship, and one that is comfortable affirming a pluriform canon. 

ISBN: 
9781506401201
Price: 
$79.00
ISBN: 
9781506401218
Release date: 
December 1, 2016
Pages: 
288
Width: 
6
Height: 
9

Emerging Scholars:

Contents

1. Introduction


Part I—A Reception History of Mark 16:9–20 before Eusebius
2. The Reception of Tatian, Justin, Irenaeus, and Hippolytus
3. The (Non-)Reception of Clement and Origen


Part II—Eusebius’s Reception of Mark 16:9–20
4. Eusebius’s Ad Marinum
5. Eusebius’s Reception of the Longer Ending in the Questions and Answers
6. Eusebius’s Reception of the Abrupt Conclusion in the Questions and Answers
7. Conclusion


Translation of the Ad Marinum
Bibliography

Endorsements

A masterpiece of contemporary patristic scholarship.

“Thoughtful readers of the New Testament have long puzzled over the different endings to Mark’s Gospel. Coombs’s work throws fresh light on this problem by discussing how the early church wrestled with it and Eusebius’s ingenious, inclusive “solution” based on the reception of the Gospel. But in the process, he also considers a range of other historical issues of interest to Christians today, such as the presence of prophecy and miracles in the post-apostolic church and discrepancies in the resurrection accounts of the four Gospels, in a fascinating study of a range of patristic authors. This is a masterpiece of contemporary patristic scholarship.”

An indispensable resource for those interested in early Christian understandings of inspiration, canonicity, and manuscript reception.

In A Dual Reception: Eusebius and the Gospel of Mark, Clayton Coombs examines in depth the struggles of fourth-century Christians to make sense of the apparent discrepancies in the account of the Resurrection found in the Synoptics, and to reconcile the manuscript traditions of the ending of Mark—is it the long ending or the short that Christians ought to accept as canonical? On the way, Coombs offers a most fascinating look into the Christian communities of fourth-century eastern Mediterranean and shows how attentive they were to the details of Scripture; how sophisticated was their approach to both doctrine and worship; and how pastoral care was at the center of theology. A Dual Reception is an indispensable resource for those interested in early Christian understandings of inspiration, canonicity, and manuscript reception.

George Kalantzis | Wheaton College

Unique hypotheses worth the attention of anyone interested in such a topic.

 “Coombs’s book gathers together many interesting ideas about one of the major ancient texts concerning the ending clause of Mark’s Gospel, the Questions  of Eusebius of Caesarea, providing us a fresh interpretation of this discussion as well as plenty of new paths to follow. Some of these tracks might seem rather unsafe and risky, either in their start or in their run; however, they lead to some unique hypotheses worth the attention of anyone interested in such a topic.”

Claudio Zamagni | University of Geneva