Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Religious Studies

First Advisor

Hills, Julian V.

Second Advisor

Burns, Joshua E.

Third Advisor

Dempsey, Deirdre A.


This is a study of the presence of the OT book of Malachi in the Gospel of Mark. The Gospel begins (1:2–3) with a conflated quotation of Mal 3:1; Exod 23:20; and Isa 40:3. Recent studies have judged that Isa 40:3 is hermeneutically influential on Mark’s presentation of Jesus. Similarly, I aim to show that Mal 3:1, with its promise of a messenger who would proceed Yahweh’s sudden arrival at the temple, is hermeneutically influential in ways heretofore not commonly recognized. The heart of my proposal is that Mark 1–13, that is, roughly three-quarters of the Gospel, is framed by an inclusio that opens with a reference to the first half of Mal 3:1 in 1:2b and closes with a reference to the second half of the same verse in 13:35–36. In Chapter One, I examine the first half of this inclusio. While some have minimized the significance of Mal 3:1 in Mark’s opening quotation, I argue that Mark’s conflation of these three verses is a development of an intertextuality already present in Malachi. In Chapter Two, I investigate the second half of the inclusio, making the case that Mark alludes to Mal 3:1b in the Parable of the Porter at the end of ch. 13. As I shall document, despite lexical similarities between these two texts, this possible allusion has gone largely, although not entirely, unrecognized. Chapters Three and Four explore some of these implications. In Chapter Three, I propose that Mal 3:1 provides the narrative logic for chs. 11–12. In Chapter Four, I give a summary reading of Mark 13 that anticipates the allusion to Malachi’s threat at the end of the discourse. Through close attention to Mark’s allusions to the OT, I attempt to show that Jesus’s prediction of the temple’s destruction is the dominant theme throughout the discourse. As one of Israel’s prophets, Malachi had promised an end to Israel’s story—end as both goal and fulfillment. In his Gospel, especially in chs. 1 and 13, Mark is rewriting that ending.

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Religion Commons