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.
strategy; and repetition that does not cultivate beliefs along specific lines is deemed a neutral rhetorical strategy13.
Distinguishing between sophisticating and deconstructive repetition is straightforward when cultivated beliefs either cohere with previously clarified beliefs (sophisticating) or directly contradict previously clarified beliefs (deconstructive). When repetition cultivates content for pre-existing narrative frames whose content has not received prior clarification, however, the study makes recourse to the native characteristics of semantic and narrative frames to assist in distinguishing between strategies. Since frames are inherently resistant to modification, this resistance is assumed to be relatively greater when cultivating content that contradicts pre-existing or previously cultivated beliefs than it is when cultivating coherent content14. Thus, familiarity with pre-existing content would permit the sophisticating repetition of coherent content without previous narrative preparation or explanatory warrants. The greater resistance to contradictory content, however, would require that deconstructive repetition receive some narrative preparation to establish a convivial context for its introduction and warrants to ensure its viability. Finally, deconstructive repetition may be introduced "covertly" by cultivating content for one narrative frame and then repeatedly relating this narrative frame to another for which the cultivated content is contradictory.
II. Pre-existing Beliefs about Jesus as Christ and Son of Man
The narration presents no indication that deconstructive repetition cultivates beliefs directly about Jesus. Although deconstructive repetition cultivates beliefs about the Son of Man and Christ, such repetition never impacts their first occurrence. Thus, an examination of their first occurrence and of subsequent occurrences that appear in the context of straightforward narration permits a clarification of pre-existing beliefs about the Son of Man and the Christ.