A suggestion about the genre or text-type of Mark

Shim, Ezra S. B. (1994)

CITATION: Shim, E. S. B. 1994. A suggestion about the genre or text-type of Mark. Scriptura, 50:69-89, doi:10.7833/50-0-1614.

The original publication is available at http://scriptura.journals.ac.za


The aim of this essay is to reformulate the identity of the genre of the Gospel of Mark as n proper interpretive model in the light of recent developments in literary theory and hermeneutics. In order to do so, a brief reception history of the gospel genre (as history; as kerygma, as narrative) is given and basic concepts of genre theory in relation to hermeneutics are discussed. Special attention is given to Fowler and Hirsh’s ideas on the process of generic formation and identification. In this light, the genre of the Gospel of Mark is identified as ‘narrative” (as broad genre) by taking the middle position between ‘sui generis and parallel genre (to have similarities with the first century Graeco –Roman literature). According to Scholes and Kellogg (1966:12), narrative here means a literary form as ‘an amalgamation of history, myth (kerygma) and fiction (narration)’. Especially if we apply appropriate mode concepts like history, kerygma, and drama to the broad genre of the Gospel as narrative the gospel genre can be identified as ‘realistic narrative’ or ‘historical or historiographical narrative (history mode); ‘kerygmatic or kerygmatized narrative’ (kerygma mode); dramatic or scenic narrative’ (drama mode). This generic perception exerts a dynamic influence on our reading experience on our reading experience by opening up many new possibilities in the interpretation of the Gospel of Mark.

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