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.
statement of the Son of Man’s near future experience and activity encourages acceptance of this content in a way that forestalls potential objection. Since the narration generally introduces some aspect of the content prior to dei=, the divergent Markan style of 8,31 suggests that the authorial audience is resistant to this content25. Third, the noted content does not cohere with pre-existing beliefs that emphasize the Son of Man’s present exercise of divine prerogatives and parousaic identity and activity26. In contrast, repetition ensures that this contradictory content is central to the narrative audience’s cultivated beliefs about the Son of Man.
The second area of development repeatedly relates the Son of Man as agent of come (e!rxomai) to content concerning his parousaic identity and activity. The Son of Man will come in the Father’s glory with the holy angels (8,38; cf. Dan 7,13-14), in clouds with great power and glory, sending angels who gather his elect (13,26; cf. Dan 7,13-14), and with the clouds of heaven (14,62; cf. Dan 7,13). Repetition also relates this content to glory (do/ca, 8,38; 13,26), angels (a!ggeloi, 8,38; 13,27), and clouds (nefe/lai, 13,26; 14,62). Repetition positively relates the parousaic Son of Man to God who as Lord of the Vineyard similarly will come (e!rxomai, 12,9), at whose right the Son of Man will sit (14,62; cf. Ps 110,1), and in whose glory the Son of Man will come (8,38)27. Evocation of scriptural precedents in each passage indicates that this repetition constitutes a sophisticating rhetorical strategy.