The fig tree episode in the Gospel of Mark is an editorial overwrite

Summary The episode of the cursing of the fig tree in the Gospel of Mark is not good theater. It follows the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and brackets the Temple Incident (TI), both exciting and dramatic scenes. The fig-tree episode should have some relationship to …

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Reconstruction of the Pilate scene in the Gospel of Mark

Summary The Passover Privilege—the choice offered by Pilate to the multitudes of Jerusalem—has long been problematic. Mark invoked a name, “Pilate,” that had meaning to the audience of his play, in Rome 90-95 CE. We can assume that Mark expected the audience to bring their …

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What does “Herodians” mean in the Gospel of Mark?

Executive summary: It is reasonable to conclude that during the play, there were no Herodians onstage. There is no reason to think that in real life, followers of Herod were visually distinctive. In addition, according to the text of GMark, the Herodians did not contribute …

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In the Gospel of Mark, why does Jesus appear in Galilee, and not in some other place?

The most obvious reason is: the Sea of Galilee is in Galilee. That allows Mark to have characters who are fishermen, and to stage scenes that involve boats. Second, Galilee is near enough to Jerusalem that Jesus and his entourage can plausibly, in the world …

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