Miracles and the Kingdom of God

Christology and Social Identity in Mark and Q

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Myrick C. Shinall
  • Lanham, MD: 
    Lexington Books
    , March
     184 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


In the last decade or so, scholarship on the miracles of Jesus has shifted from reconstructions of the historical Jesus to the questions of why and to what end early Jesus-followers told stories about miracles. Myrick Shinall contends that Mark and Q contain two distinct ways of remembering Jesus’s miracles in relation to his proclamation of the kingdom of God. He compares three cases of Mark-Q overlaps which feature miracles: the Beelzebul controversy, the commissioning of the disciples, and the testing or “temptation” narratives, and finds that in Mark, the miracles and the kingdom of God both point to Jesus’ identity as a divine figure, whereas in Q, Jesus and the miracles point instead to the coming kingdom of God. Shinall further argues that these different views represent different strategies for creating group identities for Jesus’ followers, strategies that came into conflict as the movement’s identity coalesced. At length, he shows that the mix of “high” and “low” Christology in the Synoptic tradition requires reframing of the current debate over how early a “high” Christology developed in the nascent Jesus movement.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Myrick C. Shinall Jr. is Assistant Professor of Surgery and Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society.


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