Recently Markan scholarship has been exploring the role that the disciples play in the narrative of Mark's gospel. This interest in the disciples is a natural and logical concern given the widely held opinion that the gospel was written to a specific community comprised of young believers. While much of this has been helpful and necessary for understanding Mark, one must t allow equally significant themes to be forgotten. Any understanding of discipleship is only properly grounded in Christology. Most Markan scholars who have addressed the issue of Christology in Mark take for granted that Jesus' identity and mission are inseparable. Generally speaking, the gospel may be outlined in two halves, corresponding to the issues of identity and mission. This book is a verse-by-verse commentary that examines Mark 8:22-9:13, and concludes that these three episodes form the transition point dealing with Jesus' identity to his mission. Mark 8:22-26 serves to illustrate the inadequacy of sight already gained and the necessity for something additional. Mark 8:22-9:1 provides the opportunity for the final piece to be revealed about Jesus: a clear teaching about his suffering and death. The transfiguration episode (Mark 9:2-13) confirms the necessity of this outcome for properly understanding Jesus. Ultimately, the transfiguration, serving as a confirmation of Jesus' suffering death, provides the Christological resolution for the disciples to see clearly.
Kevin W. Larsen holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies with an emphasis on the New Testament from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. He is Professor of New Testament, and the Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Roanoke Bible College, Elizabeth City, North Carolina.