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Gospels and communities. Was Mark written for a suffering community?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter seeks to say something about &t;Mark's community,&t; the community from which the writer of the second gospel came and for which he wrote his gospel. However, some recent publications have cast serious doubts on the whole enterprise of seeking to identify specific communities lying behind the New Testament gospels. Either Mark's readers were already suffering, or Mark thought that suffering was on the horizon; either way, suffering is the real-life historical context in which the gospel is written. The chapter offers a few remarks on these more general issues, seeking to defend the appropriateness of trying to identify the community to which a writer such as Mark may have belonged, and which he may be seeking to address via his gospel. It then raises the question of whether, if it is legitimate to think of a &t;Markan community,&t; that community was a suffering community.

Keywords: gospel; Mark's community; New Testament; suffering community



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