Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Messianic Secret

In 1901, William Wrede publish a book that we call in English The Messianic Secret. He called attention to passages, particularly in Mark, in which Jesus tried to conceal his deeds and identity, or in other ways tried to escape the public eye. Wrede's book was very controversial in its own time, and the passages to which he called attention continue to be the subject of debate even today. These passages, or some combination of them, are generally thought to represent a more or less unified theme in Mark called the "messianic secret."
I have a new book on the messianic secret coming out in October of this year. Actually, to say that the book is about the messianic secret is a bit misleading, because part of what I'm arguing is that the term "messianic secret" is not culturally appropriate for first-century Mediterranean people. The texts associated with this motif are really about honor and shame. It's been a fascinating topic to research and about which to write. If you want to check out the book, click on this link.

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