Monday, March 9, 2015

The Stilling of the Storm and OT Resonances

Yesterday morning I sat in a Bible class that covered the stilling of the storm pericope from Mark 4:35–41, and it got me thinking about the OT echoes in the story. Of course, I was thinking about this because I recently read Richard Hays' Reading Backwards (as I've mentioned before). As I thought about the story of a person asleep during a raging storm at sea, the narrative of Jonah popped into my head as obviously relevant. I couldn't remember that Hays had mentioned this, and I can now confirm that Jonah does not appear in the index. Hays' discussion of this episode in Mark appears on pp. 22–23, where he emphasizes Psa 107:23–32 as the most prominent echo. In his n. 13 on p. 117, he also mentions Job 26:10–12; 38:8–11; Psa 65:7; 89:9; 104:5–9; 106:8–12; Isa 51:9–11. So, no mention of Jonah, though I wouldn't want to dispute that Hays has correctly identified the most prominent echoes. It does seem to me, however, that the Markan author could have had Jonah in mind--just in terms of the person with the power to end the storm instead sleeping through it, though Jonah's power over the wind and waves is of a much different nature than that of Jesus. Of course, the stories end very differently, but even that might support Hays' overall point (the demonstration of the divine identity of Jesus in the Gospels). In the Jonah story, God obviously controls the wind and waves; Mark shows that Jesus has this authority.

Maybe there's something there. 

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