"Rabbi, It Is Good that We Are Here" : Moses, Elijah, and John in Mark's Transfiguration Story (9 : 2-8)
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Hills, Julian V.
The appearance of Moses and Elijah in Mark's Transfiguration story continues to generate scholarly discussion. Opinions vary regarding their role both in the story itself and in the gospel narrative as a whole. These range from their functioning as models of the messiah to being companions of the glorified Jesus in his heavenly abode. This dissertation will argue that these two OT figures both stand for John the Baptist, and that the purpose of their presence in the Transfiguration narrative is to underline the contrast between Jesus and John the Baptist, in whom the roles of these two figures coalesce. It is my contention that Mark has redacted a pre-Markan transfiguration story which emphasized Jesus' special relationship with the deity by introducing the Elijah-Moses material. Mark does this in order to contrast the glory filled Jesus with John the Baptist, who functions as the new Elijah and the new Moses in relation to the messiah. This thesis will be developed on two fronts: first, I shall argue that the category theophany" best classifies Mark's transfiguration story, and second, I shall demonstrate that Mark's preoccupation with the contrast between Jesus and John the Baptist extends beyond the transfiguration narrative...