Vincent Taylor (1952) – The Son of God in Mark

“The Markan Son of God is a Divine Being who appears in human form, whose dynamis is manifest in his bearing and speech and in his mighty works, and yet whose humanity is real so that he is deeply moved in the presence of human suffering (i. 43), angry with hypocrisy and grieved at the blindness of men’s heart (iii. 5), astonished at unbelief (vi. 6), indignant with stupidity and want of feeling (x. 14), limited in knowledge (xiii. 32), filled with shuddering awe at the approach of death (xiv. 33)…  The sheer humanity of the Markan portraiture catches the eye of the most careless reader; and yet it is but half seen if it is not perceived that this Man of Sorrows is also a Being of supernatural origin and divinity…    -Vincent Taylor, The Gospel According to Saint Mark, 1952, pp. 121

“The claim that, according to Mark, Jesus becomes the Son of God by adoption has often been made, but it probably rests upon a superficial reading of the Gospel.  The Evangelist’s idea is rather that Jesus is by nature the Son of God, and that the Voice at the Baptism declares Him to be such.  Mark has no theory of the Incarnation, but his assumption appears to be that Jesus is Deus absconditus, the Hidden God.  This view is not docetism, since the humanity of Christ is conceived as real.  It is rather the view that, behind a fully human life, Deity is concealed, but is visible for those who have eyes to see, in His personality, teaching, and deeds.”  -p. 121

I had enough time for a careful reading of the entire Gospel of Mark today.  I’m preparing some more writing on Mark (it seems so anyway) and in that vein I also got started with Wrede’s Messianic Secret (ET Grieg 1971).  In an earlier post I mentioned I was waiting for that book to become available to me (It did finally come off a certain professor’s ‘Spring Course Reserve Shelf’ where I watched it collecting dust all term).  But my appreciation for Mark’s Jesus seemed to be captured best by these quotes from Vincent Taylor’s 1952 commentary, which I grabbed from my own collection this evening.

“In so describing this Christology we are probably expressing it with a precision greater than that in which it appeared to the mind of the Evangelist.  It is uncertain , indeed, whether he had reflected upon it at all, and no more can be claimed than that this is the character of the christology which is implied.  Its nature will appear more clearly if we consider what is meant by ‘the Messianic Secret’ in Mark.”  pp.121-2

Taylor’s Introductory chapter includes a section on Mark’s Christology, in which he offers a view of Wrede’s book just after the quoted material above.  On Wrede and Mark, more to come…


1 thought on “Vincent Taylor (1952) – The Son of God in Mark

  1. Pingback: The Markan bombshell « Next Theology

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