As I said in the first post in this series, on Matthew’s presentation of Jesus, an author’s introduction of a character tells us a lot about what they want us to think about that person. My earlier post looked at how Matthew introduced Jesus – emphasising his authority as a Jewish Davidic Messiah, king and religious leader.
Now we turn to Mark, who uses different techniques to emphasise qualities of Jesus’ character that don’t come across so strongly in Matthew.
The God-king of prophecy
Mark starts by doing something that, by modern standards, would be unthinkable. He takes two old testament verses, Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3, mashes them together in a quote he says comes from ‘Isaiah the prophet’ and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, alters the wording of Malachi 3:1 to make it say exactly what he wants it to say. As you can see here, with…
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