Fortress Press

Mark as Story: An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel, Third Edition

Mark as Story

An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel, Third Edition

David Rhoads (Author), Joanna Dewey (Author), Donald Michie (Author)


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In this third edition of Mark as Story, Rhoads, Dewey, and Michie take their treatment of the Gospel of Mark to new levels. While retaining their clear and thorough analysis of Mark as a narrative, they now place their study of Mark in the context of orality. The new preface explains the role of Mark in a predominantly oral culture. Throughout the study, they refer to the author as composer, the narrator as performer, the Gospel as oral composition, and the audience as gathered communities. The conclusion hypothesizes a performance scenario of Mark in Palestine shortly after the Roman-Judean War of 66 to 70 CE.

The new edition also highlights the dimensions of Mark that stand in contrast to imperial worldviews and values. The authors argue that the performance of Mark itself was a means to draw audiences into a non-imperial world based on mutual service rather than hierarchical domination. In so doing, they shift the Gospel’s center of gravity from the end of the story to the beginning, configuring it not as "a passion narrative with an extended introduction" but as "the arrival of the rule of God with an extended denouement."

Performing Mark: The appendices for students at the end of the book that offer exercises to interpret the narrative of Mark now also include "Exercises for Learning and Telling Episodes" from the Gospel of Mark by heart as part of the learning process.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800699093
  • eBook ISBN 9781451411041
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 208
  • Course Level Undergraduate
  • Textbook Survey Texts
  • Publication Date April 1, 2012


"The Gospel of Mark is, by all accounts, one of the most important books ever written. And Mark as Story, better than any volume known to me, reveals the meaning of the Gospel of Mark in a way that comes pretty close to what most people, most of the time, mean when they talk about the meaning of a story. This third edition [invites us] to imagine the story being performed and heard within a particular social-cultural context and to imagine the nuances the story would acquire within that setting."
From the Afterword
Mark Allan Powell
Trinity Lutheran Seminary