"The Lord your God is one": A redaction critical analysis of Mark 12:28-34

1987 1987

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

This dissertation applies redaction criticism to study Mark 12:28-34. My approach differs from previous redactional analyses because I use the microcomputer to isolate data for analysis. Through a careful redactional anlysis applying the grammatical and syntactical characteristics isolated through computer analysis, I show that Mark has constructed the unit to emphasize the concept of the "oneness of God". The imperative to Israel that Yahweh is One (Deut 6:4) grounds the ethical norms of love of God and neighbor (Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18) which the unit declares.

Having noted the importance of the concept of the "oneness of God" in the unit, I examine the origin and use of that concept from a double perspective:1) examination of the Old Testament understanding of the oneness of God in Deuteronomy 6:4f, 2) its development in Judaism through the Rabbinic period. This will show how this text was understood at the time of the composition of Mark.

Second, I present a redaction critical analysis of other Markan texts which contain traditions concerning the "one God". The analysis shows these texts are insertions transforming apophthegms into controversy stories which concern the nature and authority of Jesus. In each case, attributes of God are being applied to Jesus.

Finally, I examine the context of Mark 12:28-34 to see whether Mark's theology of "one God" is found in the units forming its context. This will determine whether the text of Mark 12:28-34 is from the same hand as the rest of the Gospel.

From this study, I conclude that the redaction of this unit reflects a situation in which there is friction between the community and Judaism stemming from misunderstanding in three areas: (1) discussion concerning the nature of Jesus, (2) the attitude of the community toward the traditions of Judaism, and (3) the understanding of the Kingdom of God which was prevelant in the community. Mark, thus, uses the concept of One God in his gospel as an apologetic against the objections of Jews to the stances of the community in those areas.

Indexing (details)

0469: Theology
0321: Bible
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology
"The Lord your God is one": A redaction critical analysis of Mark 12:28-34
McIlhone, James Patrick
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 49/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Marquette University
University location
United States -- Wisconsin
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.