Thursday, September 15, 2016

David E. Garland cites John C. Poirier and me . . .

David E. Garland

A few years back, John C. Poirier and I published an article, "Jesus as the Holy One of God: The Healing of the Zavah in Mark 5.24b-34" (pdf) (Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism 8 (2011–12) 151-84), which the scholar David E. Garland drew upon in his book A Theology of Mark's Gospel: Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God (2015). Among other citations and quotes, Garland introduces the following block quote with the words "Hodges and Poirier conclude that Mark"
presents Jesus as the holy one of God - a source of inexhaustible power - and yet approachable even by those in a state of impurity. This suggests that Mark intends to present God as judging according to his mercy rather than his justice (to use the rabbinic terminology). This fits with the interpretation of Mark's portrayal of Jesus' mission as being motivated primarily by the politics of compassion rather than that of purity. This also signifies an increased emphasis in Mark upon the very personal nature of the divine. Destruction no longer occurs automatically when the impure comes near or even into contact with the holy, despite the fact that the impure and the holy remain antithetical forces characterized by their dynamic opposition. From a history-of-religions perspective, this means that in Mark's portrayal of Jesus as the approachable holy one of God, a new relation between the holy and the profane is emerging.
This isn't his only citation and quote from our article, but it's the longest quote. Other citations can be found by the search function in the online book by typing in "Poirier" or "Hodges."

Garland, by the way, is currently serving as the interim president for Baylor University, my old alma mater.

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