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Showing posts from May, 2017

SECRETS - Enhance Your Reading of Mark's Gospel Part 2

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Last week I published a blog post looking at MarkanSandwiches and how they have helped me to make sense of Mark’s Gospel and what Mark was trying to achieve – and by extension this helped me to deepen my faith and understand scripture better.
This post I wanted to talk about another curiosity within Mark’s gospel that has had a similar effect – The Messianic Secret.
The Messianic Secret was first expounded by the theologian William Wrede. He noticed that throughout the gospel of Mark, Jesus was constantly asking people not to say anything about who he was. This generally took the form of:
a) Jesus casting demons from people and then commanding them not to say anything about who he was, and b) Jesus healing people and then asking them not to tell anyone about what he had done.
Wrede argued that Mark used this device as a cover up for the fact that Jesus never spoke enough about the fact that he was the Messiah; however I think that theologian Paula Gooder’s explanation is much better.
Gooder…

SANDWICHES - Enhance Your Reading of Mark's Gospel

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As followers of Christ, we look to the Bible as one of our main sources of inspiration and guides in our lives. So it follows that we all want our times reading the Bible to be as rich as possible.
Learning more about the Bible is one way to help with this. It is particularly helpful when we know the types of things that the authors of the books used to aid us in this task.
To this end I wanted to talk about something that has enriched my reading of the gospel of Mark: Markan Sandwiches (also called interpolations).
Essentially, what Mark does is get one story within his gospel, and inserts it inside another story; this serves the purpose of giving both stories a greater sense of meaning. It’s purpose is to make the reader stop and think “Mark is trying to tell us something important here”. In practice it looks like this: Story 1 – Introduction Story 2 – Introduction & Conclusion Story 1 – Conclusion
We can see where the idea of the sandwich comes from: Story 2 is sandwiched in between s…

CHOICE - The Space Between Thoughts

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Recently I was listening to a podcast when I heard this quote:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In that response lies our growth and our freedom
It is a quote by Victor Frankl, a holocaust survivor and renowned neurologist & psychiatrist.
When I heard the quote it sent shivers down my spine. I was half listening to the podcast on my walk to work, paying attention to the natural beauty of the canal, but when I heard this quote it gripped me. I knew that it had power, that it resonated with where I was.
When we are exposed to a stimulus, we are immediately struck by a sea of emotions and thoughts, brought on by all of our life experiences, as well as the hard-wiring in our genes.
These emotions and thoughts lead us to want a particular response, to react in a certain way; whether that is to run or hide, or strike back, or hug someone, or buy a donut.
However before we come to this action, we have a moment, a moment where …