Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Messianic Secret

Yesterday I read the Gospel of Mark in one sitting and noticed that Mark has included some unusual features in his account of the baptism of Jesus which can only explained by Mark copying both Matthew and Luke. Only Mark has ‘torn’ but more importantly only Luke tells us that the crowd heard and saw the event. Both Mark & Matthew have the pronoun ‘he’ indicating, according to them, only Jesus saw and heard the theophany which means that Matthew and Mark, or one of them, acquired the account from Luke and the other copied it. Since Mark has a strong messianic secret no one not even Mark could know about this event until later and none of gospels has Jesus telling the disciples what happened at his baptism. 

William Wrede first identified the existence of the theme of the Messianic secret and indicated it was not historical but was an addition by the author of Mark. Wrede also suggested that his theory would work best if Marcan priority turned out to be false.

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