Christ’s Baptism and Crucifixion: The Anointing and Enthronement of God’s Son -- By: A. B. Caneday

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 08:3 (Fall 2004)
Article: Christ’s Baptism and Crucifixion: The Anointing and Enthronement of God’s Son
Author: A. B. Caneday

Christ’s Baptism and Crucifixion:
The Anointing and Enthronement of God’s Son

A. B. Caneday

A. B. Caneday is Professor of New Testament Studies and Biblical Theology at Northwestern College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is the co-author (with Thomas R. Schreiner) of The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance & Assurance (InterVarsity, 2001). On Mark’s Gospel he has published two essays: “Mark’s Provocative Use of Scripture in Narration: ‘He Was with the Wild Animals and Angels Ministered to Him’” in Bulletin for Biblical Research 9 (1999); and “He Wrote in Parables and Riddles: Mark’s Gospel as a Literary Reproduction of Jesus’ Teaching Method” in Didaskalia 10 (1999).


If one did not already recognize it, redaction criticism showed what should have been obvious to all —that the Gospel writers play a creative role in shaping the theological import of their narrative accounts concerning Jesus Christ. After the entrance of redaction criticism and the emergence of literary criticism, New Testament scholars have focused upon the narrative techniques of the evangelists. Literary criticism, also, has simply uncovered what is truly present within the Gospel narratives, which to our shame got blurred, distorted, or even lost to Christians who thought that to read Scripture as literature diminished the Bible. Rediscovery of the Bible as literature, in the hands of Christians who critically engage modern criticism of the Bible, need not result in treating the Bible simply as any other good literature. Rightly seen, the Bible is the original that classic literature has imitated. Scripture’s literary patterns and features significantly influenced great literary works far beyond mere quotations and allusions.

Passé is the claim that the author of the second Gospel “was a clumsy writer unworthy of mention in any history of literature.”1 The same is true of the notion that Mark was theologically artless. Mark’s Gospel, formerly passed over because its contents were assumed to be incorporated into the larger Gospels of Matthew and Luke, has taken priority in contemporary scholarship. Early literary and source critics assigned priority to Mark as the first of the four Gospels. More recently the programmatic work of Rhoads and Michie has given fresh impetus to the study of Mark’s Gospel and to all the Gospels, an impetus that has endured for two decades.2 Generally, their work continues to stimulate interest in reading each of the Gospels as story. In particular, they provide guidance concerning Mark’s narrative patterns and story-telling techniques.

An atomistic r...

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