Key Figures in Markan History (1947-1968): Studies in Mark, Pt. 88

This is the second listing concerning “Key Figures in Markan History” and the first one can be found HERE which covers the years 1900-1949. However, there is some overlap between these two posts as the last prominent person I listed in the previous post was from the year 1942. These are, in my opinion, the key figures in Markan exegesis during this time span. Let me know if I missed anyone you would include and if so, why I should include them.

· (1947) Joachim Jeremias: Jeremias was interested in the search for the historical Jesus and is noted for his attempt to get back to the very words of Jesus (ipsissima verba). He paid close attention Jesus’ linguistic mannerisms and wrote a lot on the parables. In his NT Theology (1970) he argued that Mk. is written in primitive Greek and is quite unsophisticated (an argument many would later disagree with).
· (1947) Morton S. Enslin: Wrote “The Artistry of Mark” contending that Mark’s “canvas” is laced with creativity and is a beautiful piece of work.
· (1951) Austin M. Farrer: He wrote extensively on Mk. and was one of the first to really urge that Mk’s narrative must first be seen as a “whole” and not as “pieces”; the “pieces” come later. He was very interested in Mark as a numerologist and typologist. He also wrote “On Dispensing with Q”.
· (1952) Philip Carrington: Argued that Mark was composed in Galilee and as such, was focused / modeled on the Jewish religious calendar. It was later adapted in Rome to the Julian calendar. Carrington argued that in Mk. there is no notion of the end of the world because everything occurs within history.
· (1952) Vincent Taylor: Wrote a lot on Mark’s Gospel and suggested that the Gospels grew in 3 stages: 1) oral traditions, 2) traditions gathered and written, and 3) the writing of the Gospels. He also argued for Aramaic backgrounds for Mk.
· (1953) Wilfrid L. Knox: Contended that Mark was a poor writer, especially of Greek and simply producing popular stories where He placed Jesus as the main character.
· (1954) Harold A. Guy: Wrote extensively on Mk. and is known for positing the theory that Mark was not merely a compiler but also an editor.
· (1954) George R. Beasley-Murray, Hans Conzelmann & William Barclay: All produced well-known works on Mark’s Gospel.
· (1955) John C. Fenton: Wrote about the relationship between Jesus and Mary in Mk. as well as the comparisons of Paul’s and Mark’s Christologies and Ideologies.
· (1956) Willi Marxsen: The pioneer of applying redaction criticism to Mark’s Gospel (despite hints of this in Reimarus, Wrede and Lightfoot already). His work led to the views of others that eventually argued that Mk. was written as a corrective to pseudo-Christology.
· (1956) James M. Robinson: Probably most famous for the “New Quest” for Jesus, he wrote on Mk. and popularized the “trajectory approach” which has been widely influential in Christian social ethics and theology.
· (1957) Gottfried Schille: Contended that Mk. was a catechetical document and guide.
· (1957) Annie Jaubert: She was well known for her work The Date of the Last Supper where she urged that readers must acknowledge the difference between the Essene’s solar calendar and the official lunar calendar.
· (1958) Robert Morgenthaler: Was the first to really popularize a statistical approach to Mk.
· (1959) Charles E. B. Cranfield: Wrote and discussed Mk. widely and ignored both form criticism and wild interpretations of Mk. He accepts early traditions and argued for eyewitness accounts.
· (1959) Curtis Beach: One of the first to compare and classify Mk. as ancient Greek tragedy. His thesis is very provocative.
· (1959) Walter Grundmann: Wrote a commentary on Mk. and is known for his joining forces with the Nazi party and arguing that Jesus’ ancestry was Aryan.
· (1961) Paul Winter: A Jewish scholar who strove to remind scholarship of the Jewishness of Jesus. He wrote the popular “On the Trial of Jesus” and there referred to Mk. a great deal.
· (1961) Johannes Schreiber: He wrote tons of stuff on Mk. and focused quite a bit on the spiritual realm in Mk. He found connections between Mark and Paul. He was the first to suggest that in Mk., there are competing Christologies.
· (1961) J. B. Tyson: Is known for his “The Blindness of the Disciples in Mark” where he drew on the theory of A. Kuby.
· (1962) Thomas W. Manson: Another scholar who wrote a lot on Mk. He saw Mk. as a biographical sketch.
· (1962) Robert M. Wilson: Wrote quite a bit on Mk. and believed that a chronology could be discovered in Mk.
· (1962) Paul S. Minear: Is noted for his many works on Mk. and for pioneering a new literary approach to the Gospel.
· (1963) T. Alec Burkill: He argued that Mark was a clumsy writer and a document in which history submits to theology. He is noted as paying attention to Mark’s emphasis on “threes”.
· (1963)
Dennis E. Nineham: He suggested that there was very little consistency in Mark’s writing abilities and that the Gospel was a bunch of unconnected paragraphs with hardly any connection.
· (1963) Etienne Trocme: A French exegete who wrote a lot on Mk. and divided it into two major parts. Chapters 1-13 were composed by a leader of a Palestinian Christian movement and chapters 14-16 were portions of a 2nd edition of Mk.
· (1963) Werner G. Kummel: Argued that the sources of Mk. were a gospel of Peter, a twelve source, a short Mk. combined from numerous sources and a redactor, an Aramaic source, a Galilean redactor using Mt. and Lk., and a miracle source (among other sources).
· (1964) Edward Schweizer: Focused a lot on Mark’s theology & structure and loved analyzing word statistics.
· (1965) Alfred Suhl: One of the first to really focus on Mark’s use of the Old Testament in his narrative.
· (1965) Ernest P. Best: A prolific Markan scholar who used “composition criticism” and saw Mark as an artist and/or conductor of sorts. He also viewed Mark as a great storyteller and a natural dramatist. He urged readers to take Mk. as a whole.
· (1965) John W. Bowman: Saw Mk. as a Christian Haggadah.
· (1967) Kurt Niederwimmer: Wrote a lot on Mk. and heavily criticized Mark’s lack of geographical knowledge (e.g. of Palestine).
· (1967) Morna D. Hooker: She has written extensively on Mk. and compares Mk. to a drama. She argues for the “reading aloud” of Mk.
· (1967) Jan Lambrecht: Emphasized the movements of Jesus in Mk. towards Jerusalem.
· (1967) Wilfrid J. Harrington: He has written scores of stuff on Mk. and argues that Mark was a great storyteller.
· (1968) Theodore J. Weeden: Wrote an interesting thesis on Mk. that explored competing Christologies in Mark’s community. He wrote “The Heresy that Necessitated Mark’s Gospel”.
· (1968) Rudolph Pesch: A Catholic exegete, he has written very influential studies, commentaries and articles on Mk.
· (1968) Michael D. Goulder: Has written a lot on the parables and arranges the Gospels according to a liturgical calendar whereat the climax focuses on Easter

This post has also been added to the "Studies in Mark" page here on Pisteuomen.


  1. Key Figures in Markan History (0000-0090): Studies in Mark, Pt. 89

    Jesus: Did stuff

    Mark: Wrote stuff about Jesus' stuff

    Peter: May have said stuff about Jesus' stuff so Mark could write stuff

  2. Ha! Scott, you never cease to amaze me! I hope to do the first 19 centuries of Markan exegesis some time in the near future but for now, I'll just let the idea coast along on your comments here. Spot on!