Friday, June 11, 2010

Living Mark

Today more than ever biblical interpreters are drawing upon the knowledge of the history, societies, cultures, and texts of biblical times in order to understand the Bible better. One of the most prominent features of this has been our rediscovery of the importance of narrative. Stories count! No doubt this has something to do with the dramatic rise of our attraction to literature and especially the significantly renewed interest in stories. Think of the fascination with, for better or worse, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia – or with the music of Rhapsody and others who are telling stories through their compositions.

Yet, the biblical writers were way ahead of us. Literature and stories – narratives were highly important in their times. They wrote complex and careful recountings under God’s direction of something of what God was doing with and through the created world, humanity, Israel, and Jesus Christ. As we are well aware, the Bible is a mega-story – a big story – told through different literary forms and styles.

Mark's gospel, for example, is narrative. Therefore, to better hear, read, and live the story of Mark it is important to know this. The narrator is the one who tells the story; the voice of the recounter. Often, though not always, in biblical accounts the narrator is hidden behind the story. Yet, all narratives have a narrative strategy and we will detect the voice of the narrator as the story unfolds.


Living Spiritual Rhythms For Today