John J. R. Lee

Christological Rereading of the Shema (Deut 6.4) in Mark's Gospel

[Christologische Relektüre des Shema' Jisrael (Deut 6,4) im Markusevangelium.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-152807-1
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Published in English.
Mark's Gospel is a narrative about Jesus Christ. At the same time, it is the only book within the New Testament that directly cites the monotheistic call of the Shema (Deut 6.4). In this study, John J. R. Lee examines how Mark uses monotheistic language in his Christologically-oriented narrative.
In Mark's Gospel, the Shema language of Deut 6.4 is not merely reiterated in a traditional sense but reinterpreted in a striking way that links Jesus directly and inseparably with Israel's unique God. Such an innovative rereading of the Shema must be understood in light of (a) various elements involved in and surrounding each of the three monotheistic references (Mark 2.7; 10.18; 12.29) relating to their respective literary contexts, and (b) Mark's nuanced, complex, and even paradoxical portrait of Jesus' relationship to God throughout his gospel. John J.R. Lee shows that Mark's use of the one-God language implies that his Jesus is not merely one who, as a Shema-observant Jew, speaks on behalf of God but also one whose status and significance fundamentally correspond to those of Israel's unique deity.

John J. R. Lee Born 1973; 2004 MDiv; 2010–12 Appointed Assistant Professor of New Testament, Midwestern Seminary; 2011 Doctor of Philosophy in New Testament, Edinburgh University; 2012–18 Assistant Professor of New Testament, Midwestern Seminary; since 2018 Associate Professor of New Testament, Midwestern Seminary.


The following reviews are known:

In: Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations — (Erik Waaler)
In: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society — 65 (2022), pp. 176–178 (Jonathan Numada)
In: The Bible Today — November-December 2021, p. 408 (Donald Senior)
In: Reviews in Religion & Theology — 29 (2022), pp. 147–149 (David M. Allen)