The motif of wonder in the Gospel of Mark
The purpose of this thesis is to examine the motif of wonder in the gospel of Mark. The first chapter defines wonder, and compares its use in Mark to that of Matthew and Luke. Reasons for the study are then given, followed by a survey of previous suggestions on the topic, and the plan of the study. The second chapter surveys over 100 Greco-Roman sources to see how wonder functioned in that literature. Wonder functions here most commonly as a response to divine interventions. The third chapter follows with a survey of the use of wonder in early Jewish literature from the second temple period. Wonder here is seen to be an eschatological expectation, and is also connected with messianic and propagandistic texts. The fourth chapter then examines wonder in early Christian literature from canonical, gnostic, and apocryphal sources. It is shown in these texts to be depicted as both positive and negative. Presuppositions for exegesis in Mark are presented in chapter five, involving Peter as a source for Mark, a setting in Rome prior to A.D. 70, and a discussion of methodology involving redaction-criticism and literary-criticism in Mark. The concept of a motif is defined and clarified. The sixth and seventh chapters are exegesis of the thirty-two occasions in Mark where wonder occurs, in light of the material in the previous chapters. The kingdom of God is consistently in view in pericopae using wonder. The eighth chapter is the conclusion. The thesis proper that the evidence has produced is that Mark uses wonder to signify the human response to the breaking-in of the kingdom of God. Wonder is nuanced throughout Mark in such a way to defy schematization as a negative reaction, and is a necessary response to the numinous.