Against Joel Williams's critique, this rejoinder argues for a Markan Christology of divine strength in word and deed to counteract the shame of Jesus' crucifixion, thus to convert unbelievers, not a Christology of weakly human suffering designed to brace believers for the endurance of persecution. In his Gospel, Mark included material seemingly antithetical to such an apologetic, evangelistic aim because he felt obliged to write up everything he had heard Peter say about Jesus' ministry (so John the Elder). At the same time Mark tweaked this very material in ways that allied it to the massive amount of power-material (much underplayed by Williams) in service of the apologetic, evangelistic aim. Even Mark's passion narrative exhibits such tweaking, for example, in emphases on the fulfillments of Jesus' various predictions, on Jesus' dying with a burst of strength, and on the shortness of time he hung on a cross. This interpretation of Mark's text arose out of a close reading, not out of a presupposition.

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