Since the second half of the 20th century, studies endeavoring to situate the historical Jesus firmly in his historical context have multiplied exponentially. Encouraged by the exciting discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls and thorough studies on Second Temple Jewish literature, scholarship on the historical Jesus has been defined, to a large extent, by the insights gained from the comparison of the Gospels to contemporary sources, clarifying the historical matrix that gave birth to the early Christian movement. Even though more-recent interpretive approaches such as narrative criticism and reader-response criticism, for the most part, have sought to keep the hermeneutical influence of these external sources at bay, few would deny the important interpretive capital gained from such comparative studies.

Reading Mark in Context is a collection of essays that intentionally interpret the Gospel of Mark alongside Second Temple Jewish “literary companions.” For the editors, the purpose of the volume is...

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