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Title: Holy Community in the Gospel of Mark
Author: Ermakov, Arseny
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 6152
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis argues that Mark, through appropriation of motifs, concepts and images of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature, in his picture of Jesus and his disciples represents them as the holy community, the holy people of God or the righteous remnant of the last days. It begins with an examination of the concept of the holy people in Leviticus and its later developments in the Second Temple period, demonstrating that the idea of holiness does not belong solely to the priestly tradition but is appropriated by other Jewish literature. The holiness of the people is a dynamic concept that describes the relationship with the Holy God in their midst through obedience to his will revealed in the Torah and abstention from any kind of impurity. Moreover, Jewish apocalyptic literature of the period reveals a concern about the restoration of the holiness of Israel in the last days. This background illuminates the issue of the holy people in Mark. The wide range of motifs and concerns from 2TJ connected with holiness made their way into the Gospel and were absorbed by Mark or underlay his narrative. All aspects of Jesus' identity and ministry are connected to a certain degree with the issues of purity and holiness. It becomes clear that for Mark the Temple in Jerusalem is not the centre of holiness that it should be. This centre is now Jesus, the Holy One of God among the people of God, \\ho manifests Yahweh's presence and directly reveals his will instead of mediation through the Torah. Jesus restores the people of God through cleansing and bringing \vholeness in the last days. In the light of Jesus' identity, Mark re-defines such fundamental categories of Israel's holiness as the Temple, the Torah and the Holy People of God, thus forming the identity of the early Christian community through continuation and discontinuation with ancient Judaism. In the light of this radical redefinition Mark depicts Jesus' followers through Isaianic images of the restoration of the people, the motif of suffering and vindication of the righteous, the notion of the elect and the stumbling remnant, and through strong connection with Christology. Mark shows how the community, the new family and the new temple, is being formed around the Holy One of God. The holiness of the new people of God is represented as a dynamic relationship with Jesus, the source of holiness and power of the community. Faithfull following and obedience to Jesus and his teaching, i.e., fulfilling the will of the Holy God in the last days, makes the community holy in the Gospel of Mark.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available