Key Figures in Markan History (1900-1949): Studies in Mark, Pt. 87

Recently, I have been working through the history of the interpretation of Mark's Gospel in the twentieth century (so, S. P. Kealy). Below is a list, in my opinion, of the "key" figures in Markan exegesis in the years ranging from 1900-1949. Let me know if I missed anyone you would include and if so, why I should include them.

· (1900) Benjamin W. Bacon: Bacon is “often called the founder and pioneer of American biblical criticism” despite the fact that he never achieved a PhD and still claims that he could not pass Yale examinations today. He wrote a lot on the Synoptics, an introduction to the NT and a also a work on its creation. One of his most famous Markan works was: The Beginnings of the Gospel Story: A Historico-Critical Inquiry into the Sources and Structure of the Gospel According to Mark. Perhaps two of his most influential works, however, were: Is Mark A Roman Gospel? and The Gospel of Mark: Its Composition and Date.
· (1901) William Wrede: Wrede’s influence on Markan studies has been massive as he was the first to develop what is referred to as “The Messianic Secret”. He wrote a book titled The Messianic Secret in the Gospels that is still popular over 100 years later.
· (1901) Albert Schweitzer: The infamous theologian turned medical missionary was known for many things including the argument that in Mark’s narrative, Jesus is depicted as going to Jerusalem to force God’s hand (to bring in the eschaton). He disagreed with Wrede’s view of the “secret”.
· (1906) Francis Crawford Burkitt: He succeeded C. H. Dodd and published a work about an early Syriac version of Mark’s Gospel that would pave the way for conversations about Aramaic & Mark later on.
· (1910) Marie-Joseph LaGrange: He was very influential in furthering the view that Mark was completely dependent upon Peter’s testimony (though Mark was still an author in his own right). LaGrange emphasized the Semitic elements of Mk. and argued that it was basically, Aramaic catechesis. His 1910 commentary is still an invaluable resources in many respects today.
· (1911) W. Erbt: One of the first modern German scholars to argue that Mark’s narrative is based on a solar scheme. He divided the story into 28 sections and compared them to the solar calendar.
· (1913) Wilhelm Bousset: Bousset is probably most influential because he was the first to write up a full-blown study that approached Christology through titles applied to Jesus. He had some odd thoughts about Mark’s story, basically discounted anything miraculous and explored the relationship between Paul and Mark.
· (1915) Clyde W. Votaw: Votaw explored the notion of Mark as biography and from there, went on to assert that the Gospels are not interested in sharing history as much as they are with putting forth theological propaganda; the writers arranged their stories to fit their agendas. Clearly, Votaw’s findings would lead to a lot of later discussion that would come up in literary and theological circles.
· (1919) Karl L. Schmidt: Schmidt was a pioneer in the area of form criticism (regarding Mark). He was one of the first to contend that the story reflects the Church’s situation rather than the life and/or life situation of Jesus. He called this “Kleinliteratur”.
· (1919) Martin F. Dibelius: Another leader in the form-critical movement, Dibelius argued that the Gospels were meant to be preached, not reviewed as historical accounts. He viewed Peter as the source of Mark’s Gospel and divided the text into 5 main sections (paradigms, novella, miracle stories, legends, myths).
· (1921) Rudolf K. Bultmann: Bultmann wrote a significant commentary on Mark and is most famous in this regard, for trying to peel away the layers of tradition in Mk.
· (1923) Martin Werner: He wrote Der Einfluss paulinisher Theologie im Markusevangelium and was noted for drawing links between Mark and the Pauline epistles.
· (1924) Cuthbert H. Turner: He wrote a commentary on Mark and contended that it was an autobiographical account based on Peter’s testimony. He said that Mk. was, historically speaking, “the most important book ever written”.
· (1925) Alfred E. J. Rawlinson: He focused a lot on the demonic sphere in Mark’s story. He was well known for his emphasis on the roughness of Mark’s Greek which is still a common argument today.
· (1927) George F. Moore: While he didn’t write a ton on Mark’s text, he was very influential in that he was one who was first arguing for a Jewish Jesus and trying to present Judaism on its own terms.
· (1930) Arthur T. Cadoux: He is most famous for pioneering a new phase in parable criticism and had a lot to say about this in regards to Mark’s narrative. He is also known for asserting that Jesus never interpreted His own parables but that the later disciples did that.
· (1932) Charles H. Dodd: He followed Cadoux in his parable criticism and is well known for trying to draw a fine line between the Early Church’s Kerygma and its Didache (preaching and teaching). He is also known for defending the importance of historical events for Christianity.
· (1934) Robert H. Lightfoot: He believed that Mark’s story was not linked by chronology but theology and this of course, would be the impetus for redaction studies that would soon follow. He is very well known for his book Locality and Doctrine in the Gospels (1938) where he spawned a lot of discussion about the connections between geography, narrative and theology. He was influenced by Lohmeyer, of course.
· (1936) Ernst Lohmeyer: Lohmeyer was a pioneer in attempting to make headway into the geographical localities in Mark’s story. He divided the narrative along these lines (which most still do today) as well as Jesus’ mission. He drew sharp distinction between Jesus’ ministry in Galilee and His passion in Judea.
· (1936) Charles C. Torrey: He argued that (Greek) Mark was a straightforward interpretation of an Aramaic original. He is responsible for much of the discussion that still goes on concerning this matter today.
· (1937) John Chapman: Argued that Matthew was THE source of Mark’s Gospel account.
· (1942) Nels W. Lund: Noted for developing the concept of “chiasmus” in Mark’s narrative.

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