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image of Biblical Interpretation

This article reads the Markan beginning (Mark 1:1), arguably the superscription, from a postcolonial perspective. It examines whether or not Mark begins the story of Jesus as a pro- or anti- or postcolonial response to the colonist Roman and certain relatively dominant native Jewish nationalistic and collaborative discourses of power. This reading is informed by the postcolonial theoretical concepts of mimicry, ambivalence and hybridity. It examines the consensual-conflictual hybridity of 'Aρχη τoυ ευαγγελιoυ 'Iησoυ Xριστoυ [υιoυ εoυ], firstly in the Roman imperial context of 'Aρχη τoυ ευαγγελιoυ Kαισαρoυ υιoυ εoυ, and secondly in the native Jewish nationalistic and collaborative discursive contexts. Attention is given to the potential interface of this category of words, codes and symbols in Mark with their occurrences in the imperial cult and in the biblical and postbiblical discourses. I argue that, while adhering to these words, codes and symbols of the Roman and Jewish discourses, Mark potentially creates an element of indetminancy and disruption of meaning. This may perhaps be with a view to create a voice of its own that is affiliative and disruptive to both the Roman colonial and the native Jewish nationalistic and collaborative voices. This article thus sheds light to the affiliative alterity of Mark, a characteristic of most postcolonial discourses whether ancient or modern. This reading is informed by my own postcolonial experience of being born and bred in a minority community in postcolonial 'India' and also by the experiences of being the 'other' in the former colonial masters' mother country. My own ambivalent affiliative-antagonistic attitude toward both countries and their discourses of power inform my reading.


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