The Bible

The Function of Miracles in Mark's Gospel College

The miracle stories narrated by each of the four evangelists arguably form one of the most famed aspects of the story of the life of Jesus Christ, and it is clear that for the writers of the Gospels, as well as for the earliest Christians, the miracles encompassed great significance. However, the ways in which these miraculous events are depicted differs between Gospels generating a variation in the way that we, as the reader, might perceive their function. In this essay, I will seek to sustain the line of argument that the miracle stories within the Gospel of Mark fulfil many potential functions; the authentication of Jesus' identity and message, a catalyst for profound teaching and a method through which the writer of Mark could speak directly to the worries, fears and questions of his own community, to name just few. Though it is unclear which, if any, of these functions the writer of Mark actually intended when narrating the miracle stories, these roles are, ultimately, even if accidentally, fulfilled.

It is worth outlining the distribution and arrangement of the miracle stories in the Gospel of Mark. Within Mark, we see eighteen accounts in which Jesus is depicted as a miracle-worker or exorcist[1]; as Boring observes, '...

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