The Significance of Mimesis to the Theme of Jesus’ Identity

This paper assumes the use of mimesis in building the structure of Mark’s gospel. Mimesis is the imitation of another’s work; a common practice in the ancient literary world. Mark imitates the structure of the Elijah-Elisha narrative (1 Kgs 17:1 – 2 Kgs 13:21).[1] I propose that this imitation has significant consequences to the gospel’s overall themes. The structure impacts climactic moments in Mark’s story, such as Jesus’ miracles, his triumphal entry, the cleansing of the temple, and Jesus’ death and resurrection. Specifically, Elijah, Elisha and Jehu play roles in a synthesis of God’s covenant story with Israel. Mark builds off this narrative for structure and Jesus’ identity. This paper first, highlights mimesis and its connection to the Elijah-Elisha narrative, second, demonstrates the typological relationship Elijah, Elisha, and Jehu have to Jesus, and third, attempts to pull together these issues in respect to Jesus’ identity.

Mimetic Orientation

Mimesis is the ancient practice of imitating and building upon the great works of history. Rather than a simple copy, it is a dynamic and living imitation that brings material to life for the reader.[2] At least as early as Isocrates, 436-338 BCE, teachers placed a high priority on training students to imitate and build upon great literature of the past. In Panegyricus, Isocrates affirms the value of literary master pieces as shared inheritance. He goes further conveying that it is not novelty that makes an excellent craftsman but rather the wisdom to speak from his inheritance in ways no one else could.[3] This trend is observable through rhetoricians such as Cicero 55 BCE, and Quintilian writing in the first century CE.[4] In rebuttal one might recall the words of Seneca, a near contemporary of Quintilian “…for an imitator never comes up to the level of his model.”[5] However, Seneca’s remark proves the point, as he was arguing in favor of imitating more than one individual to include masters from the past. Modern scholar Dale Allison, Jr. emphasizes the dramatic difference in perspective in his work, The New Moses: A Matthean Typology. Important to our presumption of Mimesis throughout Mark’s gospel is understanding the practice of developing skills based on another’s work. Allison points out that modern scholarship has missed this ancient perspective and replaced it with novelty.[6] He points to Dr. Samuel Johnson, a British linguist of the eighteenth century, who once said, “no man ever became great through imitation.”

The unique shape of the gospels has led scholarship to focus on oral tradition rather than extant manuscripts in determining a source for Mark. The expectation is that any sources used in forming the gospels must also resemble gospels. Mark’s position as the earliest extant gospel limited source-criticism to pre-Markan and oral traditions. Marcus is led to see the gospel as a hand-me-down of church tradition and the memories of those who knew Jesus.[7] This is not to imply that scholars don’t recognize influences in the gospel.[8] One such example is the grouping of parables, a common practice in antiquity. Marcus recognizes the same practice in Mark’s gospel, but only as it influences the text, not as an imitation of another’s work.[9] Adela Collins goes a bit further, suggesting that the story of Elijah is a model for Gospels as a literary type.[10]

Despite the majority of scholarship, there are four major studies identifying extant source material for the gospel of Mark.[11] Dennis MacDonald argues that Mark is imitating Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey.[12] Virgil’s Aeneid is a great example in this case since most scholars agree that Virgil imitated the Illiad and Odyssey.[13] MacDonald fails, however, to make his case. The comparisons are not as strong compared to the gospel’s connection to the Elijah-Elisha Narrative. One such example represents this weakness. MacDonald compares Jesus sleeping on the boat in Mk 4:35-41 to Odysseus who sleeps on a boat.[14] Despite the similarity, equally strong is the similarity of Jesus to Jonah sleeping on a boat. Given the significance the OT is granted in the gospels, Jonah’s story appears the stronger one. We also don’t know for certain that Mark had access to this material. Bodie, Roth, and Winn all suggest strong ties from the Elijah-Elisha narrative with differing degrees of success. It is out of their work Mark’s use of mimesis gains clarity.

Establishing source materials is a difficult task, but Winn provides guidelines to assist scholars in identifying imitation. This paper follows Winn’s work in establishing points of imitation.[15] For mimesis to be possible the imitated text must be available to the author. The chances of its use go up considerably if the text is commonly imitated by others. These first two criteria are easily accomplished given the frequent use of OT scriptures in the entire NT.  It is also important for the narratives to share similar structures. The stronger the association between the two narrative structures, the more likely the hypotext is being imitated. This does not mean it will match exactly. The author may omit parts of the original structure. It is also possible we might see reversals in order. The author is free to alter the text to meet the need of the story. Throughout the narrative it is likely that the hypertext and hypotext will share some verbal agreement, though not always. These criteria in combination strengthen the relationship between documents. They legitimate the mimetic use of the Elijah-Elisha narrative.

Mimesis, Mark, and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative

Mark’s gospel is a practice in mimesis; by structuring his material after the Elijah-Elisha narrative, we can learn more than oral tradition is able to share. We can now turn to a few examples of Mark’s imitation of the Elijah-Elisha narrative. These episodes attest to the structural reliance Mark has borrowed. Let’s begin with Jesus’ miracles found early in the gospel. Jesus’ healing of the leper in Mk 1:40-45 bears a strong connection to Elijah in 2 Kgs 5:1-19. The story of Naaman, an official from Syria, is the only other account that narrates the healing of leprosy prior to the gospel of Mark. A close examination of both stories reveals strong parallels. Winn identifies several points of similarity.[16] First, in both cases it is the leper who approaches (2 Kgs 5:5; Mk 1:40). Second, a hand movement is referenced in both stories. In 2 Kgs 5:11, Naaman expected that Elijah would wave his hand over him. In Mk 1:41 Jesus stretches out his hand and touches the leper. Third, the infirmity is cleansed in both stories. Jesus touches the leper in Mark and Elijah commands Naaman to be cleansed in the river in 2 Kings. Fourth, sacrifice is mentioned in both stories. Naaman volunteers to sacrifice exclusively to Yahweh; Jesus commands the cleansed leper to offer a sacrifice to the priests (2 Kgs 5:17, Mk 1:44). Through this parallel a connection is made with the prophet Elijah, a character mentioned nine times in the gospel.

We now turn to Jesus’ miraculous feedings that imitate Elisha. The gospel of Mark records two accounts of miraculous feeding in Mk 6:30-44; 8:1-10. These episodes imitate one feeding miracle in 2 Kings 4:42-44. In Elisha’s story, a man travels from Baal-shalishah bearing twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain. Elisha has the food given to one hundred men, and miraculously there is enough for everyone with some left over. To those familiar with Jesus’ feedings of five thousand and four thousand, it is easy to see the parallels. Hunger marks the beginning of each story. An account is taken of how much food is available to eat and it is astonishingly little for the need. A command is given to distribute the food, and in each case the servants or disciples hesitate and are commanded a second time.  The food is ultimately distributed to the large groups of people and in each case food is left over. A possible reason for the doubling of the miracles is to connect Jesus to both Elijah and Elisha.[17]

We now move on to a significant parable that imitates the life of Jehu. Jesus’ triumphant entry and following temple cleansing are both imitations of Jehu’s divinely appointed enthronement. In 2 Kgs 9, Elisha commands one of the sons of the prophets to go to Jehu and anoint him king. He is chosen to take vengeance on Ahab and his family and abolish the idolatrous Baal worship in Israel. When those with Jehu heard the news of his regnal anointing, they laid their garments on the steps before him. A similar activity is performed for Jesus as people place their garments on the colt he will ride (Mk 11:7). After this Jehu sets out to kill the King of Israel. As Jehu approaches, King Joram sends two separate messengers to meet him. Unfortunately, the messengers never return, choosing to defect to Jehu’s side. In concern, Joram meets Jehu on the property of Naboth, a vineyard. There Jehu reveals his intentions and kills Joram as he rides away. The killing of Joram by Jehu resembles the Parable of the Tenants (Mk 12:1-9). Most scholars recognize that this parable resembles Is 5:1-7.[18] This is due to verbal agreement, such as, “ἐφύτευσεν,” “ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον,” and “ὤρυξεν.”[19] This does not, however, mean that Is 5:1-7 is the only narrative Mark is drawing on in Jesus’ parable. Winn’s rules of identifying imitation allow for a combination of influences and imitations. Virgil’s does this very thing in the Aeneid. He conflates two episodes from the Odyssey[20]. It seems appropriate to allow Mark to bring together multiple narratives from OT scriptures, as well.

Four parallels exist between the Parable of the Tenants and 2 Kings 9.[21] First, multiple servants are sent in both cases. More than three are sent by the vineyard’s owner. Two are sent by Joram. Second, in both stories the servants never complete their missions, dying in one case and switching sides in the other. Third, the final character sent in each case has authority. In the parable it is the owner’s son. In 2 Kings it is Joram himself. Fourth, in both the parable and 2 Kings 9, the last character dies. These points of contact present a strong case for imitation, despite the difference in how the gospel uses these parallels. In Mark’s parable the metaphor places God in the position of the owner who sends his servants. This is very different in Jehu’s story, where Jehu represents God’s agent and the servants are sent by the wicked Joram.  Such a reversal is not uncommon when authors are imitating other writings.[22] Jehu’s life is retold in the form of a parable, perhaps to draw a connection between Jesus and God’s anointed king. This would explain another point of connection. Jesus’ cleansing of the temple is similar to Jehu’s complete destruction of Baal worship in Israel. Both stories include temples, cleansing, and remain close together in the narrative.

Our final parallel is the death, burial, and resurrection narratives of Jesus and Elisha. Most scholars accept the original ending of Mark to be 16:8.[23] It is a startlingly abrupt epilogue that fails to develop Jesus’ actions prior to his ascension. Marcus presents three theories regarding the ending of the gospel.[24] One, it is possible the original ending was lost and latter an alternate ending was added.[25] This is unlikely because it usually takes a while for a writing to lose pages from age and use.[26] Nevertheless, this is the proposal of N. Croy, author of The Mutilation of Mark’s Gospel.[27] Two, perhaps Mark was somehow impeded and unable to complete his writing. This is difficult to prove. Three, Mark deliberately ended his gospel abruptly with the women who “said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”[28] Marcus looks for similarities, comparing OT book endings to the gospel of Mark. He identifies the Deuteronomic History spanning Deuteronomy to 2 Kings and the book of Jonah as examples of open endings.[29] Marcus favors Jonah’s conclusion, calling it “The most suggestive biblical parallel of all…”[30] The book ends with, “…and also much cattle?” (Jonah 4:11c). While it is certainly true that both books end rather enigmatically and with a question, it is surely not the strongest parallel. Elisha’s death has five points of parallel to the end of Mark.

2 Kings 13:20-21                                            Mark 15:37-16:8

Elisha dies (v.20)                                           Jesus breathes his last (15:37)

They bury him (v.20)                                     He is laid in a tomb (15:46)

A man was being buried (v.21)                      Mary, Mary, and Salome go to anoint Jesus (16:1)

Marauders are seen (v.21)                              They see a young man and are alarmed (16:5)

The dead man is thrown onto                         The young man tells them Jesus has risen (16:6)

the bones of Elisha and revives (v.21)


If we remove the parallels that are common with death scenes, the death and the burial, we can still see points of imitation. The unexpected resurrection and abrupt close to the narratives are compelling. The fact that Jesus is accused of calling for Elijah just before his death helps the reader to know that Mark is pointing back to this narrative. As Winn suggests, the rest of the comparisons we see in the gospel support Mark’s mimetic use of Elisha’s death narrative.[31]

Pulling together these episodes in the greater structure of the text may suggest that Mark is sharing a dominant theme his readers would understand. Most scholarship relies upon direct quotes and allusions to build intertextual relationships. The practice of mimesis in antiquity suggests there is more we can learn from the text. Roth goes on to point out that the structure of the synoptic gospel is a type similar to the Elijah-Elisha narrative.[32] A dominant theme in the gospel of Mark is the messianic secret. The Elijah-Elisha narrative may underscore a typological picture of Jesus’ identity.

A Typological Connection to Elijah, Elisha, and Jehu

In the introduction to The New Moses, author Dale Allison connects subtext to Matthean typology.[33] According to Allison, the author of Matthew develops a subtext that connects Jesus to Moses. This is not done arbitrarily, but out of a faithful hermeneutical approach to God’s providence in the world as revealed through scripture. Beyond the idea of imitation there existed an expectation that the last things would be like the first.[34] Ecclesiastes 1:9 makes a similar parallel: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Furthermore, the Elijah-Elisha narrative represents what Brodie refers to as “a synthesis of the ancient foundational narrative.”[35] It is a choice framework for building the gospels, because the narrative develops biographic material out of Israel’s history. [36] Scholars sometimes refer to Mark as a biography. Based on this, I argue that Mark’s imitation of the Elijah-Elisha narrative draws typological connections to Elijah, Elisha, and Jehu. Let us take a closer look at these characters and their function in the Elijah-Elisha narrative.

The prophet Elijah enters the scene to fight Ahab and Israel’s idolatrous worship of Baal. It is a time when the nation has turned away from Yahweh. As soon as Elijah is introduced, he pronounces a drought to come upon Israel. This action challenges the power of Baal and authority of King Ahab. Chapter 17 also develops Elijah’s own authority through three episodes in, v.2-24.[37] Following his pronouncement, Elijah performs multiple miracles, defeats the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, and condemns Ahab and Jezebel for their actions against Naboth. Ahab’s repentance results in a brief stay of God’s wrath until his son’s reign.  According to Beale, Elijah’s narrative validates Jehu’s enthronement.[38] He also sets a precedent for the killing of Ahab’s son Joram. Later, Jehu destroys the temple of Baal with its prophets similar to Elijah at Mount Carmel.[39] The whole of Elijah’s activity warns of the covenant failures of the authorities, powers, and all of Israel.[40] His life come to completion with his ascension, just as it did for Jesus.

Elisha’s role was a continuance of Elijah’s prophetic mission. Both prophets fight against Baal worship. Elisha’s prophetic mission begins with the double portion of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kgs 2:9). During Elisha’s life he performs twice the number of miracles, a total of sixteen.  The miracles themselves contain symbols that reflect the miracles of Elijah. During the Moabite war, Elisha performs a miracle that provides water during a drought similar to Elijah’s own experience (2 Kgs 3:14-17). Elijah deals with Ahab and Elisha concludes the matter God postponed by setting in motion the events that lead to Joram’s death. It is Elisha that sends someone to anoint Jehu and set him on his mission (2 Kgs 9:1). The Elijah-Elisha narrative forms a diptych structure.[41]

This pair of characters appears typologically similar to that of Jesus in the gospel of Mark. Like Elijah who passed by Elisha, Jesus passes by his disciples (1 Kgs 19:19-21; Mk 1:16-18). Jesus performs miracles just as Elijah and Elisha did. Mark’s narrative is steeped in prophecy surrounding Jesus, just as the Elijah-Elisha narrative places a high priority on prophecy. [42] As Marcus points out, both narratives point to Jesus as a prophet and a revolutionary rising against the authorities.[43] Though a typological relationship exists between Elijah, Elisha, and Jesus, this is not to say that Jesus is somehow Elijah. Instead, it is the synthesis of these two characters that fit Jesus.[44] It would be much easier to say that Elisha is a type of Jesus if we were to choose a single character.[45] Their narratives are the most similar. We cannot stop with Elisha, however, because Jehu is a part of Elisha’s narrative and significant features in his life are typical of Jesus. In particular, it is Jehu’s mission and kingship that are developed in Mark’s gospel. As explained earlier, Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, his cleansing of the temple, and his fight against the powers and authorities all fit Jehu. As we look at the whole Elijah-Elisha narrative, Mark’s narrative structure and his portrayal of Jesus build typological ties to 1 Kgs 17:1 – 2 Kgs 13:21. This has a profound influence on how we see Jesus’ identity.

Mark’s use of mimesis develops Jesus’ identity in two ways. The gospel of Mark presents Jesus as the Son of Man, the Son of God and messiah, and the King of the Jews. Jesus also applies to himself the role of prophet. In Mark 6 Jesus is opposed by those in Nazareth, his home town. This leads him to say, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household” (v.4). Further down in chapter 6, people compare Jesus to Elijah and the old prophets. This is not evidence that Jesus is Elijah, but rather that Elijah and the old prophets were similar enough to Jesus for people to recognize it.[46] The imitation of the Elijah-Elisha narrative highlights this prophetic agency of Jesus. Furthermore, it impresses upon the reader to take seriously the prophetic nature of the gospel of Mark. Yet we can go further than this because of Elijah and Elisha’s story. The primary concern of their prophetic position was covenant life. The opening chapters of Elijah’s story are directly concerned with the covenant between God and Israel. It is telling that in Jesus we find a similar concern, only now through the covenant of Jesus’ blood. Jesus himself says, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mk 14:24). While the hypotext is concerned about God’s covenant through David, Moses, and Abraham, the hypertext is concerned about a new covenant through Jesus. Jesus’ identity is wrapped up in his work of bringing about a new covenant.

We also see that Jesus battles the spiritual powers and authorities throughout the gospel. Jehu represents a type of Jesus in his battle against the royal family of Ahab and, in particular, Joram. He also clears the way for God’s sovereign rule and his own kingship. In this way we can understand Mark’s use of mimesis to shape Jesus’ identity.  After Jesus enters Jerusalem he combats the powers and authorities that have overrun the temple. In the last chapter Jesus is mockingly referred to as king of the Jews six times. In a more positive tone, the title “messiah” also portrays Jesus as a king.[47] The Elijah-Elisha narrative is a synthesis of all the trouble God had with human kings. No king was able to live as God desired; even God’s agent Jehu was ultimately unable to walk in the law of the Lord. In this way Jesus succeeds where other kings failed. Jesus is God’s chosen king who sits at the right hand of the Father.

Conclusions about Jesus and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative

Throughout this paper we have established several points toward our goal. Major connecting points demonstrate Mark’s mimetic use of the Elijah-Elisha narrative. These connecting points are the miracle of healing leprosy, the miraculous feedings, Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem, the cleansing of the temple, and his death, burial, and resurrection. They establish a typological relationship between the character and stories of Elijah, Elisha, and Jehu with that of Jesus. Jesus is misidentified as Elijah, he performs miracles similar to those of Elijah and Elisha, and he places a high priority on prophecy and covenant. Like Jehu, Jesus is anointed, enthroned and clears a temple. This relationship illuminates Jesus’ identity as a prophet king who battles the authorities and powers in the world and establishes a covenant through his blood. In terms of source criticism, Mark’s mimetic use of the Elijah-Elisha narrative forces scholars to explore sources beyond the use of allusion and quotation. Mark’s Jesus is the prophet king.



Works Cited

Allison, Dale C. The New Moses: A Matthean Typology. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2013.

Aune, David E. Library of Early Christianity. Vol. 8, The New Testament in Its Literary Environment. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1987.

Brodie, Thomas L. The Crucial Bridge: The Elijah-Elisha Narrative as an Interpretive Synthesis of Genesis-Kings and a Literary Model for the Gospels. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2000.

Brown, Raymond Edward. “Jesus and Elisha.” Perspective (Pittsburgh) 12, no. 1-2 (1971 1971): 85-104. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).

Bultmann, Rudolf. The History of the Synoptic Tradition. Rev. ed. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1963.

Cicero. Cicero On Oratory and Orators. Translated by J. S. Watson. New York: Harper and Brothers Publishing, 1875.

Croy, N Clayton. The Mutilation of Mark’s Gospel. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2003.

Collins, Adela Yarbro. “Mark’s interpretation of the death of Jesus.” Journal Of Biblical Literature 128, no. 3 (September 2009): 545-554. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).

____________. Mark: A Commentary. Edited by Harold W. Attridge. Hermeneia–a Critical and Historical Commentary On the Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007.

Guillaume, P. “Miracles miraculously repeated : Gospel Miracles as duplication of Elijah-Elisha’s.” Biblische Notizen 98, (1999): 21-23. New Testament Abstracts, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).

Iersel, Bas van. Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Supplement Series. Vol. 164, Mark: a Reader-Response Commentary. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998. Accessed April 2, 2016.

Kevin, Robert Oliver. “The lost ending of the gospel according to Mark: a criticism and a reconstruction.” Journal Of Biblical Literature 45, no. 1-2 (1926 1926): 81-103. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 5, 2016).

Leim, Joshua. “In the Glory of His Father: Intertextuality and the Apocalyptic Son of Man in the Gospel of Mark.” Journal of Theological Interpretation 7, no. 2 (2013).

Macdonald, Dennis R. Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.

Marcus, Joel. The Anchor Bible. Vol. 27, Mark 1-8: a New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005.

Meye, Robert P. “Mark 16:8: the ending of Mark’s Gospel.” Biblical Research 14, (1969 1969): 33-43. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).

Perseus Digital Library.

Roth, Wolfgang. Hebrew Gospel: Cracking the Code of Mark. Oak Park, IL: Meyer-Stone Books, 1988.

Quintilian. Quintilian’s Institute of Oratory. Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Amazon Kindle edition.

Seneca, Lucius Annaeus, and Michael Winterbottom. The Loeb Classical Library. Vol. 1, The Elder Seneca Declamations. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974.

Wallace, Howard N. “Oracles against the Israelite dynasties in 1 and 2 Kings.” Biblica 67, no. 1 (1986 1986): 21-40. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).

White, Marsha C. Brown Judaic Studies. Vol. 311, The Elijah Legends and Jehu’s Coup. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1997.

Winn, Adam. Mark and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative: Considering the Practice of Greco-Roman Imitation in the Search for Markan Source Material. Eugene, Ore.: Pickwick Publications, 2010.

Wray Beal, Lissa M. Apollos Old Testament Commentary. Vol. 9, 1 and 2 Kings. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2014.

Zimmermann, M & Zimmermann, R. Mimesis Bible Didactics: An outline in the context of religious education, HTS Teologiese Studies/ Theological Studies 71(1), 2015. (accessed, April 8, 2016).


[1] All biblical references in this paper are taken from the English Standard Version.

[2] M. Zimmermann, & R. Zimmermann, Mimesis Bible Didactics: An outline in the context of religious education, HTS Teologiese Studies/ Theological Studies 71(1), 2015. (accessed, April 8, 2016).

[3] Isocrates, Isocrates, trans. George Norlin, in the Perseus Digital Library, (accessed April 1, 2016).

[4] Cicero, Cicero On Oratory and Orators, trans. J. S. Watson (New York: Harper and Brothers Publishing, 1875), 107; Quintilian, Quintilian’s Institute of Oratory (Lee Honeycutt, 2010), under “11356,” Amazon Kindle edition.

[5] Lucius Annaeus Seneca and Michael Winterbottom, The Loeb Classical Library, vol. 1, The Elder Seneca Declamations (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974), 7.

[6] Dale C. Allison, The New Moses: A Matthean Typology (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2013), 272.

[7] Joel Marcus, The Anchor Bible, vol. 27, Mark 1-8: a New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 59; See also K.L. Schmidt Der Rahmen der Geschichte Jesu (Berlin: Trowizsch, 1919); Rudolf Bultmann, The History of the Synoptic Tradition, rev. ed. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1963).

[8] For additional scholars that connect the Elijah-Elisha narrative to the gospels, see Lindars, Elijah, Elisha and the Gospel Miracles; Aune, The New Testament in its Literary Environment, 40-41; Brown, Jesus and Elisha.

[9] Marcus, Mark 1-8, 73-75. On the similarities between Paul and Mark.

[10] Adela Yarbro Collins, Mark: A Commentary, ed. Harold W. Attridge, Hermeneia–a Critical and Historical Commentary On the Bible (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), 156.

[11] See Dennis R. Macdonald, Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010); Brodie, Crucial Bridge, p 86-95; Roth, Hebrew Gospel; Winn, Mark and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative. This paper dates Mark as the earliest gospel. Major studies following the Griesbach Hypothesis are excluded. For examples see: C.S. Mann C S. Mann, The Anchor Bible, vol. 27, Mark: a New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1986).

[12] Macdonald, 2.

[13] Virgil, Aeneid, trans. H. Fairclough, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1956); Homer, The Odyssey, trans. A.T. Murray, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1946).

[14] Adam Winn, Mark and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative: Considering the Practice of Greco-Roman Imitation in the Search for Markan Source Material (Eugene, Ore.: Pickwick Publications, 2010), 42.

[15] Ibid, 31. Winn’s rules are version of McDonald’s rules in The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark.

[16] Ibid., 77-78.

[17]P. Guillaume, “Miracles miraculously repeated: Gospel Miracles as duplication of Elijah-Elisha’s.” Biblische Notizen 98, 21-23. New Testament Abstracts, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).

[18] See Aus, University of South Florida International Studies in Formative Christianity and Judaism, vol. 4, The Wicked Tenants and Gethsemane: Isaiah in the Wicked Tenants’ Vineyard, and Moses and the High Priest in Gethsemane : Judaic Traditions in Mark 12:1-9 and 14:32-42; Evans, Craig A. “On the vineyard parables of Isaiah 5 and Mark 12.” Biblische Zeitschrift 28, no. 1: 82-86.

[19] Winn, 101.

[20] Ibid., 16; Virgil, 249-269; Homer, 449-465.

[21] Ibid., 104-105.

[22] Virgil, 269; Homer, 465. Compare Aeneas who lives in the Aeneid and Odysseus who dies in the Odyssey as an example of mimetic reversal.

[23] Marcus, Mark 1-8, 1088.

[24] Marcus, Mark 1-8, 1088.

[25] Kevin, Robert Oliver. 1926. “The lost ending of the gospel according to Mark: a criticism and a reconstruction.” Journal Of Biblical Literature 45, no. 1-2: 81-103. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 5, 2016).

[26] Marcus, Mark 1-8, 1091.

[27] N Clayton Croy, The Mutilation of Mark’s Gospel (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2003).

[28] Robert P. Meye, “Mark 16:8: the ending of Mark’s Gospel.” Biblical Research 14, (1969 1969): 33. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).

[29] Marcus, Mark 1-8, 1094-1096.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Winn, 115.

[32] Wolfgang Roth, Hebrew Gospel: Cracking the Code of Mark (Oak Park, IL: Meyer-Stone Books, 1988), 119.

[33] Allison, 7.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Brodie, 96.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Lissa M. Wray Beal, Apollos Old Testament Commentary, vol. 9, 1 and 2 Kings (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2014), 230-31.

[38] Ibid, 231.

[39] Marsha C. White, Brown Judaic Studies, vol. 311, The Elijah Legends and Jehu’s Coup (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1997), 27.

[40] Beale, 51.

[41] Thomas L. Brodie, The Crucial Bridge: The Elijah-Elisha Narrative as an Interpretive Synthesis of Genesis-Kings and a Literary Model for the Gospels (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2000), 12-27.

[42] Marcus, Mark 1-8, 183. Howard N Wallace, 1986. “Oracles against the Israelite dynasties in 1 and 2 Kings.” Biblica 67, no. 1: 21-40. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).

[43] Marcus, Mark 1-8, 183-184.

[44] Joshua Leim, “In the Glory of His Father: Intertextuality and the Apocalyptic Son of Man in the Gospel of Mark,” Journal of Theological Interpretation 7, no. 2 (2013): 215.

[45] Bas van Iersel, Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Supplement Series, vol. 164, Mark: a Reader-Response Commentary (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), 130, accessed April 2, 2016,


[46] Raymond Brown, “Jesus and Elisha,” Perspective (Pittsburgh) 12, no. 1-2 (1971 1971): 85-104. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).


[47] Adela Yarbro Collins, “Mark’s interpretation of the death of Jesus.” Journal Of Biblical Literature 128, no. 3, 2009.: 553. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed April 2, 2016).