We are unable to display your institutional affiliation without JavaScript turned on.
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Find using OpenURL

Foreshadowing, Echoes, and the Blasphemy at the Cross (Mark 15:29)

From: Journal of Biblical Literature
Volume 132, Number 4, 2013
pp. 913-933 | 10.1353/jbl.2013.0058



Darrell Bock has proposed that Mark’s Gospel includes an alternating pattern of accusations concerning blasphemy, with the final step in this pattern taking place when Mark characterizes the mocking at the cross as blasphemy (15:29–32). This final accusation, typically obscured by translators and commentators alike, is the subject of this article. The contention that Mark considered the mocking at the cross to be an expression of blasphemy and that this accusation of blasphemy reflects back on earlier accusations in the narrative can be supported by carefully examining Mark’s narrative rhetoric, especially his use of foreshadowing and echoes. Mark’s passion narrative often uses verbal links to the preceding narrative to communicate Mark’s perspective on the events surrounding Jesus’ death and resurrection. Therefore, this article examines the pervasive, patterned, and concentrated use of echoes in Mark’s passion narrative to demonstrate that Mark used his reference to blasphemy in 15:29 to reflect back on earlier accusations of blasphemy in the narrative. Through this final reference to blasphemy, Mark communicates that it is ultimately dishonoring to God and God’s work in the world to suggest that God would send a messiah who would choose to save himself rather than others.

You must be logged in through an institution that subscribes to this journal or book to access the full text.


Shibboleth authentication is only available to registered institutions.

Project MUSE

For subscribing associations only.