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‘Threshold ’ Chronotope And Tragic Carnival In Mark 14:43–15:41

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the nature of tragic carnival needs. Carnival elements are hinted at in the 'custom' of releasing a prisoner at the feast (15:6): the carnival 'exchange' of one 'son of the father' (Bar-Abbas) with another 'Son of the Father' is one such possibility (15:11). At the level of the carnivalesque, the Markan Pilate may be engaging in a carnival verbal agon when he engages with the chief priests concerning what he should do with Jesus (Mark 15:11-14). The threshold is established in Jesus' cry of dereliction and the subsequent events surrounding his death, yet the centurion does not cross the threshold any more than does any other character in the Passion narrative. The carnival mockery in the 'voices' of the Jewish leaders and the attendants/guards attempt to provoke a response from Jesus. His silence while they abuse him finds echoes in the 'voice' of Isaiah's suffering servant.

Keywords: Jesus; Markan Pilate; tragic carnival; ultimate threshold



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