News: April 09
Performance Criticism Commentary in Progress
The recognition that the gospels were performed for audiences rather than read by readers means that commentaries about the meaning of the gospels in their original historical context need to be reconceived. A major project underway for GoTell is the drafting of a commentary on the passion and resurrection of Jesus according to Mark as an effort to describe in detail the major elements of meaning and impact of Mark's story when it was told in the ancient world.
This commentary will include a new translation that is intended to be told, not just read. It will also include some of the major stories that would have been in the background of minds of ancient audiences such as the stories of the messiahs of ancient Israel—Saul and David—and the heroic epic poems of Homer: the Iliad and the Odyssey.
The majority of the commentary will be a description of the meaning and impact of Mark's story in the details of the passion narrative: characters, plot, relationship of storyteller to audience and the dynamics of audience address.
A major theme that emerges when Mark's story is heard against the background of the warrior stories of antiquity and in the context of the period after the Jewish war in 66-70 A.D. is that Mark's story is about a messiah of peace and non-violence who saves the world from the powers of evil by acts of healing, compassion, reconciliation with enemies, and suffering for the sake of others.