Paul Danove, «The Rhetoric of the Characterization of Jesus as the Son of Man and Christ in Mark», Vol. 84 (2003) 16-34
This article investigates the semantic and narrative rhetoric of Mark’s characterization of the Son of Man and the Christ and the contribution of the portrayal of the Son of Man to the portrayal of the Christ. An introductory discussion considers the role of repetition in characterization, the nature of semantic and narrative frames and their implications for describing the implied reader of Mark, and the rhetorical strategies apparent in characterization. The study of characterization investigates the manner in which the semantic and narrative rhetoric introduces and reinforces frequently discordant content concerning the Son of Man and Christ and then relates developments concerning the Son of Man to the Christ. The study concludes with a consideration of the narrative function of the characterizations of the Son of Man and Christ.
More detailed developments become possible when the same vocabulary repeatedly occurs within the same narrative contexts as in the contextual repetition and linkage of twelve (dw/deka), send (a)poste/llw), proclaim (khru/ssw), and cast out demons (daimo/nia e)kba/llw) within 3,13-19 and 6,6b-134. Two or more repeated contexts also may appear in the same structured sequence as in the structural repetition and linkage of passion and resurrection predictions concerning the Son of Man (8,31-32a; 9,30-32; 10,32-34), controversies involving disciples of Jesus (8,32b-33; 9,33-34; 10,35-41), and teachings by Jesus (8,34–9,1; 9,35-41; 10,42-45)5.
Cultivation of specialized connotations for vocabulary through verbal, contextual, and structural repetition is explained in terms of the evocation and modification of semantic frames that make available to interpreters (1) information about the words accommodated by the frame, (2) relationships among these words and references to other frames containing them, (3) perspectives for evaluating the function of the words, and (4) expectations concerning the content of communication6. In the example of "discuss", its initial occurrence (2,6) evokes pre-existing information, relationships, and perspectives for evaluation but realizes only specific content and the potential for the verb’s negative interpretation. Repetition then realizes further information, relates this information, imposes negative evaluations on both those who discuss and the topic of discussion, and eventually cultivates an expectation for the continuing use of this negative connotation7. Repeated contexts and structures progressively