Noting the liturgical/confessional origin and nature of the αββα ὁ πατήρ (Abba Father) saying in Gal 4:6 and Rom 8:15, this article brings into focus questions about the function of αββα ὁ πατήρ (Mark 14:36) in a narrative (non- liturgical) context. The article investigates the “Abba” saying in Mark’s portrayal of Jesus’s Gethsemane prayer in light of the narrative structure of Mark’s “Son of God” Christology as it develops three major interrelated themes: Jesus as (more than) a prophet, the “open heavens,” and Jesus as Son of God. Aββα ὁ πατήρ is the third of Mark’s four main Aramaic sayings of Jesus, all of which illustrate in their own way Mark’s theme of “open heaven” as well as Jesus as “Son of God.” The four sayings are considered in light of the structure of Mark’s narrative, as well as his use of Scripture, especially Pss 2, 22, 89, and Gen 22. Mark’s Scripture interpretation is set both in the context of Paul’s allusions to some of the same Scriptures (Ps 2; 89) and in light of Roman propaganda promoting Vespasian as the fulfillment of Jewish messianic prophecy. This manipulation sought to deny to Jews (and de facto to Christ followers) the hope of a messianic deliverer as promised in their scriptures. Mark’s use of Scripture in his narrative Christology, including his use of αββα ὁ πατήρ, provided the remedy.

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